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Butterflies of California -- Ochlodes sylvanoides

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)
JPG -- species photo

Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides [Boisduval])

Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).

Identification: Upperside is orange with toothed brown borders. Forewing has a black stigma (male) or a black diagonal band (female). Hindwing has a large reddish patch. Underside varies from yellow to reddish to brown; hindwing varies from unmarked to having a distinct band of cream to yellow spots.

Life history: Males perch on ridges in California and in gullies in Colorado to await females. First-stage caterpillars hibernate, complete their feeding the next spring, diapause in the summer as fully-grown caterpillars, then pupate and emerge as adults in the fall.

Flight: One brood from late July-October.

Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), canary grass (Phalaris), wildrye (Elymus), and wheatgrass (Agropyron).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Grassy areas in chaparral, sagebrush, woodland, gardens, and small streams.

Range: Very common. British Columbia south to southern California; east to Montana, Colorado, and Arizona.

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.

References:

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:

Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 
     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 
     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 
     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]

Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.
     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.

Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.
     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 
     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.

Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural
     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 
     Angeles.
     
Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal
     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     

Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal
     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     

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

Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 
     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.

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

Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 
     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 
     University, Masters Thesis.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 
     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 
     Los Angeles.
Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides)
distribution map
map legend

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