Coahuila Giant-Skipper (Agathymus remingtoni)
Wing span: Not reported.
Identification: Upperside is black; both wings with cream-colored spots in males, larger orange-yellow spots in females. Underside of hindwing is black with gray overscales and a band of whitish spots.
Life history: From early morning to noon males perch near host plants to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on the host and fall to the base of the plant. A young caterpillar crawls to a leaf tip and burrows inside where it eats pulp and then hibernates. In the spring the caterpillar makes a new burrow in a leaf base where it feeds on sap until ceasing activity for the summer. Before pupating, the caterpillar enlarges the opening of its burrow and makes a silk trap door from which the adult can emerge.
Flight: One brood from September-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla).
Adult food: Females do not feed; males sip moisture from mud.
Habitat: Thorn forest and desert hills.
Range: South-central Texas south to central Mexico.
Conservation: Populations and their habitats should be conserved wherever found.
Management needs: Conserve habitat and discourage overgrazing.
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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
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.