Bell's Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes belli Freeman)
Wing span: 1 3/16 - 1 1/4 inches (3 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Fringes are strongly checkered. Upperside is dark brown; forewing has pale spots, but none in the cell. Underside is gray-black with 2 rows of pale gray spots.
Life history: Males perch to watch for receptive females. Caterpillars eat leaves and make shelters of folded leaves. Caterpillars of the last brood hibernate in the fourth stage and pupate within silk-lined leaf cases in soil debris.
Flight: Three broods from April-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Indian woodoats grass (Chasmanthium latifolia).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Grassy areas near creeks, in woodland openings and edges, and city gardens.
Range: Eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and central Texas east to southwest Ohio, central Kentucky, eastern Tennessee, and western South Carolina.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
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. 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. 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:
Covell, Charles. 1998. The Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera) of Kentucky: an Annotated Checklist. Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, Frankfort, KY. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.