Sheep Skipper (Atrytonopsis edwardsii [Barnes & McDunnough])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches (3.2 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: Forewing fringes are checkered. Upperside is dark brown; forewing with large clear spots, hindwing with small separate postmedian spots that are not in a line. Underside is brown; hindwing with gray overscales; upperside markings are repeated.
Life history: From early morning to noon, males perch on rocks on south-facing slopes of gullies to wait for females. Adults have a rapid flight.
Flight: At least two broods from March-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) and green spangletop (Leptochloa dubia).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including morning glory and chuparosa.
Habitat: Open woodland and grassy thorn forest.
Range: Southern Arizona and west Texas; south to Nicaragua.
Conservation: Not usually required.
Management needs: None reported.
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. 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:
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.