Oarisma garita
Garita Skipperling

Family Description:

Caterpillar: The caterpillar is green and striped lengthwise with white along the back and sides.
Adult: This is a fairly small skipper, with a wingspan of one inch. It can vary in its appearance, from golden to brownish to blackish on the upperside, with no distinct markings. Underneath, the forewing varies in color from orange to reddish. The hindwing is generally brownish gold and marked with white veins; its leading edge is marked with orange, from the body to the wing tip.

This species ranges from southern British Columbia, central Alberta and Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba, south through the Intermountain and Rocky Mountain states to parts of Arizona and New Mexico, and extending into Mexico. It occurs through much of Idaho, particularly the panhandle region.

The preferred habitat is open, often moist sites, including mountain meadows, fields, open woodlands, and prairies.

Caterpillars feed on a variety of grasses (Poaceae), such as bluegrass (Poa spp.) and blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis).

Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.

There is one generation of caterpillars each summer. Fourth instar caterpillars overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly from June through July.

Males actively patrol in search of receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on the leaves and stems of host plants.

Idaho Status: Unprotected nongame species.
Global Rank: G5
populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.

Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. (eds.) 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 442 pp.

Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).

Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies.   Second Edition.  Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.

Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.

Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.