Palatka skipper (Euphyes pilatka [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/8 inches (4.5 - 5.4 cm).
Identification: Upperside is orange with black borders; male forewing has a black 2-part stigma. Underside of hindwing is dull brown and may have faint pale spots.
Life history: Males perch in depressions in marshes to await receptive females. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in shelters of rolled leaves.
Flight: Two broods along the Atlantic Coast from May-September; probably three broods in Florida from January-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Sawgrass sedge (Cladium jamaicensis).
Adult food: Nectar of pickerelweed and other plants.
Habitat: Coastal brackish marshes and freshwater marshes.
Range: Immediate coast from southeast Virginia south to the Florida Keys; peninsular Florida; west along the Gulf Coast to southern Mississippi. Strays to northern Maryland and southwest Louisiana.
Conservation: Populations should be conserved wherever 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.
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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Gerberg, E.J. and Arnett, R.H., Jr. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc. Baltimore, MD. 90 pp. Kimball, C.P. 1965. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas - Vol. 1: Lepidoptera of Florida. Div. of Plant Industry, State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL. 363 pp. Minno, M.C. and Emmel, T.C. 1993. Butterflies of the Florida Keys. Scientific Publishers. Gainesville, FL. 168 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Smith, D.S., Miller, L.D. and Miller, J.Y. 1994. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, U.K. 264 pp.