Starred Skipper (Arteurotia tractipennis Butler & Druce)
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is gray-brown; forewing has a black subapical patch with 3 small white dots inside it. Underside is orange-brown; hindwing has irregular white median spots.
Life history: Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in shelters of rolled or tied leaves.
Flight: September in South Texas; May-June in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Croton in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical scrub and open weedy areas.
Range: Bolivia north through Central America to northern Mexico. Has strayed to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.
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.
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.