1 1/8-1 1/2" (28-38 mm). FW pointed, triangular in male, slightly hooked in female. FW above grayish-brown with pinkish cast varying to russet; female marked with broken black bands more strongly than male. HW above has broad yellowish-orange patch toward FW, bleeding into deeper gray beyond; black marks in interrupted bands more conspicuous than on FW. Below, similar but paler and blurred; subtle metallic markings.
Ares Metalmark generally similar but browns and oranges darker and more intense; metallic spots, not bands.
At least 2 broods; March-April and June-August.
Dry canyons, creek bottoms, and nearby back country roads.
Central America north to central and S. Arizona in mountains.
Male Zela Metalmarks defend territories in open areas along creeks and canyons. The Falcate Metalmark (E. emesis) is a smaller species which rarely strays into the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas from Mexico. Warmer brown above, its wings have broad gray bands and 2 or 3 white spots
toward the slightly hooked fore wing tip. Falcate Metalmark caterpillars feed on the legume Caesalpina mexicana, primarily an ornamental plant in Texas.