American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) life history
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) Life History

Female ovipositing, 7-14-11

Egg, 7-14-11

Caterpillar recently emerged, 7-16-11

Caterpillar day after emerged, 7-17-11



Mature caterpillar, 7-22-11

Dark form of Snout caterpillar, 10-4-10

Prepupal, 7-25-11

Chrysalis, 7-26-11

Fresh adult American Snout, 7-30-11

There are not a lot of butterflies breeding when south Texas is in the grips of an extended, extremely hot, drought. One species that is an exception to the rule: American Snout. These butterflies thrive under such conditions; apparently, in part, because their natural predators die off when it is dry and hot. With little else on my plate during 2011's summer, when I saw a female ovipositing on Spiny Hackberry (Celtis ehrenbergiana), I decided it was time to raise some Snouts.

I collected three eggs; two eclosed and the larvae were raised to adults. Both of these caterpillars were green; at other times I have found caterpillars that were darker and more prominently striped (see the picture from 2010). Apart from size, there were not a lot of visible changes in the caterpillars as they matured.

Growth was very rapid. The featured caterpillar pupated two days before its sibling, only 10 days after eclosing. This adult emerged only 16 days after the egg was deposited; the other, one day later.

American Snout Page