American snout

(Libytheana carinenta)

Conservation Status
American snout
Photo by Mike Poeppe
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNRB - Unranked Breeding


not listed


American snout is a small brush-footed butterfly. It occurs in North, Central, and South America. In the United States it occurs from Maine to Florida, west to South Dakota, Colorado, and southern California. Its range extends wherever its hosts, several species of hackberry trees, are found. This includes the southern two-thirds of Minnesota. It is a migratory species. It is a permanent resident in the south and in Mexico. It migrates north every year, sometimes in numbers large enough to darken the midday sky. It appears in Minnesota in May or June, but not in large numbers. It is found in thickets, open deciduous and mixed woodlands, and wooded suburban areas, wherever there are hackberry trees nearby.

Adults have a wingspan of 1 to 2 (35 to 50 mm). The tip of the forewing is distinctly extended and squared off. The upper side is orange at the base, dark brown near the outer margin, orange near the inner margin, and brown at the tip. There is a row of five squarish spots in the median area near the costal margin, and two widely separated, rectangular, white spots in the postmedial area. The underside is violet-gray at the tip but otherwise reflects the color and marking of the upper side.

The upper side of the hindwing is mostly brown above, with a dark brown patch along the outer margin, and a large, orange, post-median spot. The underside is mottled brown and violet gray.

The most distinctive feature of this butterfly is the long palps held straight forward appearing snout-like. This is the feature that gives the genus its common name. The snout is thought to have evolved as camouflage. When the butterfly is at rest with wings closed and snout held downward, the wings look like a dead leaf and the snout like the leaf stalk (petiole).




Wingspan: 1 to 2 (35 to 50 mm)


Similar Species

  No similar species in Minnesota  

Deciduous and mixed forests and woodlands, wooded suburban areas




Two generations per year: mid-June to early October (Ontario)






Life Cycle




Larva Food


Young leaves of hackberry trees


Adult Food


Flower nectar from a variety of species, including aster, dogbane, goldenrod, and milkweed.


Distribution Map



21, 24, 29, 30, 75, 82, 83.




Uncommon migratory visitor



Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  


Papilionoidea (butterflies)  


Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies)  


Libytheinae (beak and snout butterflies)  


Libytheana (New World snouts)  

Subordinate Taxa


American snout (Libytheana carinenta bachmanii)

American snout (Libytheana carinenta carinenta)

American snout (Libytheana carinenta larvata)

American snout (Libytheana carinenta mexicana)

western snout (Libytheana carinenta streckeri)


Until recently, this butterfly was known as Libytheana bachmanii. In 1992 it was determined that this is the same butterfly that occurs in South America.




Libytheana bachmanii

Papilio carinenta


Common Names


American snout

common snout









Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.



Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and insects, and as weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi or palps.












Visitor Photos

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Mike Poeppe

    American snout      








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Other Videos
  SNOUT BUTTERFLY Libytheana carinenta
Rob Curtis

Jan 13, 2019

Libytheana carinenta AMERICAN SNOUT BUTTERFLY, Hennepin-Hopper, Dixon , IL 8/26/2018. Extremely cooperative subject, but the wind kept strongly blowing out of the frame, making shooting very difficult.

  SNOUT BUTTERFLY Libytheana carinenta harassed
Rob Curtis

Sep 29, 2019

Libytheana carinenta SNOUT BUTTERFLY harassed by wasps, slow motion, close up. Montrose Point, Chicago, summer, 2019.

  Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta) Laying on Hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis)
Mona Miller

May 19, 2017

Tiny white eggs are laid singly on top of the leaves. This is what the egg looked like:

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Visitor Sightings

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  Mike Poeppe

Location: Houston, MN

American snout  






Created: 9/12/2022

Last Updated:

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