Thorybes mexicana
Mexican Cloudywing

Family:Hesperiidae
Family Description:
Alternate Common Name: Mountain Cloudywing.
Note: Some authors refer to this species with a new but similar name, T. mexicanus.


Description:
Caterpillar: Scientists currently have not described the caterpillar in detail.
Adult: This is a medium-sized skipper, with a wingspan of 1 1/8 to 1 1/2 inches. The upperside is brown and marked with a scattering of white spots and small bars on the forewing. The wings are fringed with brownish gray or may have a checkerboard appearance. The underside is brown, faintly mottled with dark brown, and frosted with gray at the outer edges. The forewing spots from above show through.

Range:
This species occurs only at high elevations in Oregon south through California, and southeastern Idaho south to Mexico.

Habitat:
It can be found in alpine and subalpine meadows and clearings.

Diet:
Caterpillar:
Caterpillars feed on legume species including clover (Trifolium spp.), vetch (Vicia spp.), and wild pea (Lathyrus spp.).

Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.

Ecology:
There is one generation of caterpillars each year. The overwintering stage has not been reported. Adults generally fly from the end of April through August.

Reproduction:
Males perch on hilltops all day to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly under the leaves of host plants.

Conservation:
Idaho Status: Unprotected nongame species.
Global Rank: G5
populations levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.


References:
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.