Eufala Skipper (Lerodea eufala [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside is gray-brown; forewing has 3-5 small transparent spots; male has no stigma. Underside of hindwing is brown with heavy gray overscaling, only rarely with faint spots.
Life history: Males perch in flat grassy areas on low vegetation to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on or near the host plants. Caterpillars eat leaves and make shelters of rolled or tied leaves.
Flight: Two broods from February-October in the Deep South; several broods throughout the year in Florida, South Texas, and Arizona.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including croton, alfalfa, composites, lippia, and others.
Habitat: Open, sunny areas such as vacant lots, agricultural areas, road edges, and lawns.
Range: Resident from coastal Georgia south through Florida and west across the southern United States to southern California; south through Mexico and Central America to Patagonia. Expands its range northward in the summer to central California, North Dakota, southern Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and Washington, D. C.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. 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.