Brazilian Skipper (Calpodes ethlius [Stoll])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 3/8 inches (4.5 - 6.1 cm).
Identification: Robust. Forewing is long and pointed, hindwing is lobed. Upperside is brown-black with large translucent spots on both forewing and hindwing. Underside is red-brown; hindwing has 3 or 4 cream spots.
Life history: Adults have a very fast flight and are strong migrants. Females lay eggs on the upperside of leaves high up on the host plant. Caterpillars usually spend the day in shelters of rolled leaves and emerge after dark to eat leaves.
Flight: Late summer in the north; several broods from April-December in South Texas; two broods from July-November in Arizona; throughout the year in Florida and the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Various cultivated plants in the canna family (Marantaceae).
Adult food: Lantana in Arizona. In Costa Rica, nectar from large white or pale yellow flowers of woody lianas, trees, and shrubs.
Habitat: Gardens and residential areas.
Range: South Florida and South Texas south through the West Indies, Mexico, and Central America to Argentina. Periodically strays and colonizes north to southern Nevada, north Texas, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
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.