Alternate Common Name: Checkered Skipper.
Note: This species represents a complex of several subspecies.
This widespread species ranges throughout the entire U.S., extending north as far south central Canada and south into South America. It can be found in most of Idaho.
It occurs in a variety of open habitats, such as fields, prairies, woodland openings, and disturbed areas.
Caterpillar: Caterpillars feed on the leaves of several species of wild and cultivated mallows (Malva spp., Sphaeralcea spp., Althaea spp., and other species).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from white flowers belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae), and also obtain moisture and salts from mud.
There are many generations of caterpillars each spring and summer in most of its range, and year-round in the south. Caterpillars construct shelters from folded leaves tied with silk. Older caterpillars overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Where winters are particularly harsh, they cannot survive. Adults re-colonize these areas each year. Adults generally fly from February to November. The butterflies when at rest are found with their forewings partially open and their hindwings fully open. Male butterflies are aggressive and defend territories.
Males both perch and actively patrol, typically in the afternoon, for receptive females. Females lay pale greenish white or greenish blue eggs singly on leaf buds and the topsides of mature leaves. The eggs turn cream-colored before hatching.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
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.