Hoary Skipper (Carrhenes canescens [R. Felder])
Wing span: 1 - 1 5/16 inches (2.5 - 3.3 cm).
Identification: Wings are nearly translucent, especially near the body. Upperside of wing is gray-brown with a complex pattern; forewing has 8 or 9 small transparent spots. Underside is gray-white with thin dark bands.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: February-May and October-December in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Hibiscus in the mallow family (Malvaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including lemon blossoms.
Habitat: Tropical scrub; lemon groves in South Texas.
Range: Argentina north through mainland tropical America to Mexico. Periodic resident in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Conservation: Monitor and conserve populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley.
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 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.