New Jersey Butterflies

American Snout

Libytheana carinenta

Identification: Small—1.75" (larger than Pearl Crescent). The most distinctive features are the long palps, which give rise to the common name. Above: FW and HW with large, central orange patches surrounded by wide brown margins; outer FW also has prominent white spots. Below: HW and outer margin of FW with fine gray, white, and black striations, and often one or more vague, dark patches. Inner FW shows orange, black, and white.

NJ Status and Distribution: Partially resident, but mainly an immigrant from the south. Widespread, although varying in numbers from year to year. Generally uncommon, especially in the northern counties.

NJ Range Map-American Snout

Habitat: Open areas near woodlands with the food plant.

Flight Period: Mid-April to late October but most seen from June into July, and again in August. Extreme dates: North Jersey 4/17—10/21; South Jersey 1/20—11/30.

Larval Food Plants: Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). In Cape May a Snout was observed laying eggs on Common Hop (Humulus lupulus).

Overwintering Stage: Overwintering status in NJ is uncertain—it may be relatively common in the southern counties, but is undoubtedly rare in the north. In the southeastern U.S., adults overwinter.

Best Locations: Higbee Beach WMA, Sandy Hook GNRA.

Comments: Perhaps our coolest and oddest-looking butterfly. Best searched for in open habitats very near woods where Hackberry is common. Often seen perched on the ground.

American Snout

TX, 10/29/09.

American Snout

White Lake NRA, Warren Co., NJ, 8/5/06.