Wandering Skipper (Panoquina errans [Skinner])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside is olive-brown; forewing with a row of small clear spots; hindwing without markings. Underside of hindwing is brown with a short curved row of 3-5 pale spots.
Life history: To await receptive females, males perch on beach grasses. Females lay eggs on the host and on other plants. Caterpillars spend the day in shelters of rolled or tied leaves and feed on leaves at night.
Flight: June-September in California.
Caterpillar hosts: Seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Salt marshes.
Range: Coastal southern California, coastal Baja California, and mainland western Mexico.
Conservation: Populations and their habitats should be conserved wherever found.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).
Management needs: None reported.
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.