Sickle-winged Skipper (Achlyodes tamenund [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 3/4 inches (3.5 - 4.5 cm).
Identification: Forewing is pointed, with a shallow indentation below the apex. Upperside of male is dark brown with a purple sheen and pale brown spots; female is brown with bands of square blue-gray or olive-gray spots.
Life history: Adults rest under or on top of leaves. Females deposit eggs singly on the top of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Caterpillars rest in nests of silked-together leaves.
Flight: Many flights all year in South Texas; most common from August-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Trees in the citrus family (Rutaceae): prickly-ash (Zanthoxylum fagara) in Texas; Z. monophyllum and various Citrus species in tropical America.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Openings and edges in tropical thorn forest and scrub; city gardens.
Range: Argentina north through tropical America and the West Indies to South Texas. A regular stray north to central Texas, rarely to Arkansas and Kansas.
Conservation: Maintain habitat extent and integrity in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. 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. 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.