Mestra (butterfly)

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Jamaican mestra (Mestra dorcas) female.JPG
Female M. d. dorcas, Jamaica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Biblidinae
Tribe: Biblidini
Genus: Mestra
Hübner, [1825]
Species: M. dorcas
Binomial name
Mestra dorcas
(Fabricius, 1775)


  • Cystineura Boisduval, [1836]


  • Papilio dorcas Fabricius, 1775
  • Mestra bogotana C. & R. Felder, 1867
  • Mestra amymone
  • Papilio mardania Cramer, 1779
  • Papilio hersilia Fabricius, 1777
  • Cystineura cana Erichson, [1849]
  • Cystineura bogotana C. & R. Felder, 1867
  • Cystineura floridana Strecker, 1900
  • Cystineura cowiana Butler, 1902
  • Mestra hypermestra Hübner, [1825]
  • Cystineura tocantina Bates, 1865
  • Cystineura amymone Ménétriés, 1857
  • Cystineura aurantia Weeks, 1902
  • Cystineura apicalis burchelli Moulton, 1908
  • Cysteneura hypermnestra sordida Hayward, 1931
  • Cystineura latimargo Hall, 1929

Mestra is a genus of nymphalid butterfly. It contains Mestra dorcas, the Jamaican mestra, which is found from southern North America to South America and possibly Mestra cana, the St Lucia mestra, found in the Lesser Antilles (though this may be a misidentification).[1]

The wingspan is 35–50 mm. The upperside is gray white to light brown. There is a median row of white spots and an orange marginal band on the hindwings. The underside is pale orange with white markings. Adults are on wing year round in southern Texas, but it is most numerous from June to November. They have been recorded feeding on the nectar of Lantana flowers.[2]

The larvae feed on Tragia neptifolia (which may be a misspelling of Tragia nepetifolia).


Listed alphabetically:[1]

  • M. d. amymone (Ménétriés, 1857) (Louisiana to southern Texas and in Nicaragua, Costa Rica) – Amymone
  • M. d. apicalis (Staudinger, 1886) (Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil: São Paulo, Goiás, Pará)
  • M. d. dorcas Hübner, [1825] (Jamaica)
  • M. d. hersilia (Fabricius, 1777) (Guyana, Colombia, St. Lucia, Trinidad)
  • M. d. hypermestra Hübner, [1825] (Brazil: Pará, Paraguay)
  • M. d. latimargo (Hall, 1929) (Ecuador)
  • M. d. semifulva (C. & R. Felder, 1867) (Colombia)


  1. ^ a b Mestra at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms
  2. ^ [1], Butterflies and Moths of North America