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Butterflies of Mississippi -- Euphyes arpa

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Mississippi

Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa)
JPG -- species photo

Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa [Boisduval & LeConte])

Wing span: 1 5/8 - 1 15/16 inches (4.1 - 4.9 cm).

Identification: Head and front of thorax are bright orange. Male: Upperside of forewing is reddish-yellow with black borders and a 2-part black stigma; hindwing is black. Female: Upperside is mostly black with a few reddish-yellow patches. Both sexes: Underside of hindwing is bright yellow-orange with no markings.

Life history: To await females, males perch all day in sedge marshes. Caterpillars eat palmetto fronds and live in silken tubes at the frond base. Partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.

Flight: Probably three broods from March-November.

Caterpillar hosts: Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including pickerelweed.

Habitat: Lowland palmetto scrub.

Range: Peninsular Florida, southeastern Georgia, coasts of southern Alabama and southern Mississippi.

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.

References:

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:

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp. 

Mather, B. and Mather, K.  1958.  The Butterflies of Mississippi.  Tulane 
     Studies in Zoology 6:63-109.
     
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.      
Palmetto Skipper (Euphyes arpa)
distribution map
map legend

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