Arogos Skipper (Atrytone arogos [Boisduval & LeConte])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 7/16 inches (2.9 - 3.7 cm).
Identification: Upperside is yellow-orange with black borders which are wider in females. Underside of hindwing is yellow with paler veins.
Life history: To wait for receptive females, males perch on low vegetation near host plants in the afternoon. Females deposit eggs singly under host plant leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in tents of two leaves silked together. Fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate, complete their feeding the next spring, and pupate in a leaf cocoon in vegetation about 3 feet above the ground.
Flight: One brood from June-July in the north and west; two broods from April-September in the south.
Caterpillar hosts: Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi) and probably other native grasses.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of purple vetch, Canada thistle, dogbane, stiff coreopsis, purple coneflower, green milkweed, and ox-eye daisy.
Habitat: Relatively undisturbed grasslands, prairies, sand prairies, and serpentine barrens.
Range: Occurs in isolated colonies: New Jersey south to northeast Georgia; peninsular Florida; the Gulf Coast; southeast North Dakota and central Minnesota south to South Texas; and the Colorado front range. Strays to west Virginia, northern Arkansas, and Illinois.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.