Apache Skipper (Hesperia woodgatei [R. C. Williams])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 11/16 inches (3.2 - 4.3 cm).
Identification: Antennae are long with short clubs and a white ring at the base of each club. Upperside is dark red-brown with a wide, dark border and small inconspicuous light spots. Male forewing stigma has black "felt". Underside of hindwing is dark brown to dark olive with small rounded spots that are usually not connected.
Life history: Males perch on hilltops all day to watch for females, who lay their eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in silk shelters at the base of grass clumps, then overwinter in partially underground shelters.
Flight: One brood from September-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Probably grasses.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open oak-pine woodland, mountain meadows, open grassy slopes.
Range: Three separate populations: in central Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southern Colorado south to northwest Mexico; west Texas; and central Texas.
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).
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. 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. 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.