Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in NYMPHALIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameMimic by Mark Shields => male @ Onslow County
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameHypolimnas misippus
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: A casual stray to the eastern half of the state. Formerly, there was a single NC record (Cumberland County). However, Bob Cavanaugh has made an important correction to this record. In a 2005 e-mail message, he indicated to us that he collected a Mimic in Craven County on November 9, 1975. He noted that there was no record for Craven County in the Nekola-Opler unpublished atlas of North Carolina butterflies, but instead was a county dot for Cumberland County. Also, the Opler and Krizek (1984) range map for Mimic has a dot in the general vicinity of Cumberland County but not for Craven County, further indicating that Cavanaugh's record was attributed to the wrong county. Thus, there apparently never was a record for Cumberland County.

Very surprising was a female Mimic photographed by Mike Dunn in his yard in Chatham County on September 19, 2004. Just as surprising was a male seen by Mary Doll in her yard in Manteo (Dare County) on October 13 and 15, 2013; and Mac Basnight obtained excellent photos to document the record. James Reber photographed a female in New Hanover County on September 17, 2016; this photo is posted on the BAMONA (Butterflies and Moths of North America) website. Mark Shields photographed a fresh male Mimic on October 17, 2017 at a college campus garden in Onslow County. For a species that is likely introduced in the West Indies -- its native range is Asia and Africa -- it seems remarkable that NC now has five records, as there are very few others for the eastern United States (though GA had three records in fall 2020).
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Casual; five records as of 2020. Not yet recorded from SC, nor any NC records for the western half of the state.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: In the West Indies, April to May, and September to December, according to Opler and Malikul (1992). The NC records occur "nicely" in a fairly narrow span of dates in the fall, from mid-September to the first half of November -- typical of a migratory species.
HabitatHABITAT: Open, weedy areas (Opler and Malikul 1992). In NC, mainly found in yards and gardens.
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Various herbaceous species in tropical families are foodplants. Nectar plants are not well reported in the US.
CommentsCOMMENTS: "Mimic" is a rather poor common/English name for this butterfly. Though the female does mimic an African butterfly -- the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), quite a few other butterfly species are mimics. Another common name -- Danaid Eggfly -- sounds very un-butterfly-like; maybe the third common name -- Diadem -- is the best common name. Although one might assume the 2004 individual was an escape, the report came shortly after a strong hurricane passed through the West Indies and came into NC. One lepidopterist believes the butterfly could have legitimately been transported to NC via such a storm, as he is aware of strong colonizing abilities of the Mimic. Weather in relation to the 2013 record is not known, but it came during a period of considerable northbound movements of several Southern migrants, especially the Zebra Longwing. The 2017 record also came a couple of weeks after several very intense hurricanes formed from tropical waves leaving the west coast of Africa. However, this last individual was so fresh that one may wonder if it eclosed at the garden itself, rather than being carried or blown by hurricanes from Africa or passing through the West Indies.

State RankSA
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other NameDanaid Eggfly, Diadem

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Mark Shields
Comment: Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville, Onslow County. 2017-Oct-17. male
Mimic - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Mark Shields
Comment: Coastal Carolina Community College, Jacksonville, Onslow County. 2017-Oct-17. male
Mimic - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Salman Abdulali
Comment: female @ Kihim, India - 2007-June-02, same individual as #81
Mimic - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Mac Basnight/Mary Doll
Comment: male, 2012-Oct-13. Manteo, Dare County
Mimic - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Salman Abdulali
Comment: female - Taken at Kihim (near Mumbai, India) - 2007-June-02 - same individual as the photo above
Mimic - Click to enlarge