Guatemalan Cracker (Hamadryas guatemalena)
Dorsal Field Marks
1) Solid HW cell-end bar, a trait that Guatemalan (Hamadryas guatemalena) and Variable Crackers (Hamadryas feronia) share. This character rules out Gray (Hamadryas februa) and Glaucous Crackers (Hamadryas glauconome) which have "open" cell-end bars. (Glassberg, 2001)
2) Much is made in a number of publications of how complex the eyespots are in the Guatemalan's submarginal spotband, but due to the constraints of the image quality, these details can not be discerned. However, I believe that a relative uniformity in the pupil size is evident which is most consistent with Guatemalan Crackers. The pupil size in Variable Crackers usually decreases in size from the costal to the anal HW margin.
Ventral Field Marks
3) Several publications note that Guatemalans have a prominent white spot in the FW subapex and that in Variables this feature is faint or absent. This feature appears to be present, but again due to image quality it doesn't appear to be conclusive.
4) Mike Overton stated (pers. comm.) that he uses the size of the dorsal FW white spot in cell M2 to differentiate between these two species. (The M2 cell occupies the space between wing veins M2 and M3.) I personally think this spot is easier to see on the underside and I indicate it here with the 4-O arrow. After looking at a lot of Cracker images, I believe that a distally adjacent spot (also in M2) indicated with the 4-Q arrow appears to vary in size inversely with the designated 4-O spot.
In other words:
Clearly, these two M2 cell spots are approximately equal in size. I feel that the size of these spots along with the other reviewed field marks conclusively demonstrates that this is Hamadryas guatemalena, the Guatemalan Cracker.
These photographs represent a New County Record for Cameron Co., TX. There are less that five U.S. records for Guatemalan Cracker, all from the lower Rio Grande Valley.
Mike Quinn, New Braunfels, TX
Both photographs this page shot by Ellie Thompson in her backyard in Laguna Vista, Cameron Co., TX on July 30, 2000 using a 35mm SLR. Although she was not able to get as close to the butterfly as she would have liked, she had the foresight to get a ventral photograph. For copies of the original scans of her slides, please contact Thompson (EllieThomp@aol.com) .
Crackers of the U.S., Mexico and the West Indies
*Linked photos shot by John Shuey in Belize (except for H.
Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History:
A Field Guide to the Butterflies of the West Indies
Go Get Set On Your Marks: Cracking the Code
Illustrated Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the Lower Rio Grande
Mexicanas: Guía para su Colecta y Determinación
Neotropical Nymphalidae I. Revision of Hamadryas.