Fiery Skipper

Butterflies of Southern Arizona

Page  1





Fiery Skipper.
Hylephila phyleus.
Skipper (Hesperiidae) Family.

Identification: Antennae are very short. Male wide black stigma. Underside of the hindwing is scattered with small black spots. Female: Upperside is dark brown with a very irregular orange band. Underside of hindwing is pale brown with paler checks. Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches (3.2 - 3.8 cm). Life History: Males perch in lawns and grassy swales to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly under leaves and also on other plants and objects. Caterpillars eat leaves and roll and tie them to make shelters which lie horizontally in the sod. Flight: Several broods from May-August in the north, all year in Florida and South Texas. Caterpillar Hosts: Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), crabgrass (Digitaria), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and other grasses. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of a variety of plants including sweet pepperbush, swamp milkweed, asters, sneezeweed, knapweed, ironweed, and thistles. Habitat: Sunny, open areas such as fields, lawns, gardens, levees, roadsides, and second-growth scrub. Range: Southern United States south through the West Indies and Central America to Argentina. Cannot survive harsh winters; each summer this skipper may stray and re-colonize north to northern California, southern Minnesota, southern Ontario, and southern New England.

Santa Catalina Mountains
Sabino Canyon.
Location: On Willow Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia) in front of dam at left edge.

Note: antennae are uniform in color without banding unlike Least Tropical Skipper (agreed by Fred Heath)

See Butterflies and Moths of North America Pictures and Description

Thumb: Arizona Powdered Skipper
« A. P. Skipper
Thumb: Tropical Least Skipper
T. L. Skipper »