American Snout Butterfly

American Snout Butterfly
(Libytheana carinenta)

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Libytheana
Species: L. carinenta

Photo credit:
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Identifying Characteristics:
  • Snout butterflies have prominent elongated mouthparts which, in concert with the antennae, give the appearance of the stem of a dead leaf.
  • Snouts often take advantage of their brilliant camouflage by hanging upside down under a twig, making them nearly invisible.
  • Wings are patterned black-brown with white and orange markings. The fore wings have a distinctive squared off, hook-like tip.
  • Caterpillars appear humpbacked, having a small head, swollen first and second abdominal segments, and a last abdominal segment that is tapered and rounded. They are dark green with yellow stripes along the top and sides of the body, and have two black tubercles on the top of the thorax.

Special Adaptations:
  • The larval food plant is the hackberry. This is good because the hackberry seems to be very common, especially at Merry Lea.
  • The mottled grey insects disguise themselves as dead leaves when their wings are closed. This in an advantage to predators, who cannot eat them if they cannot find them.
  • They lay their eggs on hackberry trees, a drought-tolerant native. Since the hackberry is drought tolerant, the eggs have more chance for survival in hard summers.
  • They are only able to survive mild winters. Although they seem abundant during summer, the winter cold could kill them off if it gets below a certain point.
  • Eggs are laid singly or in small clusters in the leaf axils of young shoots or less frequently on young foliage or twigs. Larvae eat young foliage. The eggs laid in small clusters have a greater chance of survival.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. American snout Butterfly. Retrieved 08/01/2012, from
Texas Butterfly Ranch. American Snout Butterflies. Retrieved 08/01/2012, from

Katherine Johnson