Salenus Skipper (Synapte salenus [Mabille])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside is dark brown with faint or absent pale bands. Underside is brown; hindwing has dark costal and central patches and fine dark lines.
Life history: Adults fly swiftly, most often in the afternoon. Adults rest with their wings closed, but bask with hindwings open wide and forewings open to about 45 degrees. Males perch to find receptive females. Caterpillars live in shelters of silked leaves and fully-grown caterpillars overwinter in their shelters.
Flight: August in South Texas, several broods from June-October in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported; probably grasses, sedges, or rushes.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Range: Bolivia north through Central America to northern Mexico. A rare stray into South Texas.
Conservation: Not required for a rare stray.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
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.
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.