North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Arizona

Lindsey's Skipper (Hesperia lindseyi)
JPG -- species photo

Lindsey's Skipper (Hesperia lindseyi [Holland])

Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male is bright yellow-orange with a narrow dark border and few pale spots. Upperside of female is duller with more light spots; those on the forewing are transparent. Underside of both sexes is light- to greenish-orange. Hindwing has pale veins and a band of large irregular pale spots.

Life history: To find receptive females, males patrol all day above the grass with a slow flight, and sometimes perch. Females lay eggs singly on tree lichens (Usnea florida) or lupine (Lupinus bicolor); the eggs overwinter. Caterpillars emerge in the spring and feed on leaves, making shelters of leaves tied with silk.

Flight: One brood from May-July.

Caterpillar hosts: Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), California oat grass (Danthonia californica), and rattail fescue (Vulpia megalura).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Grassy foothills, chaparral, and oak woodland.

Range: Pacific Slope, Oregon south to Riverside County, California.

Conservation: All populations should be conserved wherever they are found.

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.


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:

Bailowitz, R. A. and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of Southeastern Arizona. 
     Tucson, Ariz.: Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc.

Garth, J.S. 1950. Butterflies of Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon 
     Natural History Association, Grand Canyon, Ariz.

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Lindsey's Skipper (Hesperia lindseyi)
distribution map
map legend

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