White-patched Skipper (Chiomara asychis [Stoll])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (2.9 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown-black with irregular chalky white patches. Underside is white with brown at the outer and costal margins.
Life history: Females deposit eggs singly on leaves of the host plants, which the caterpillars eat. Caterpillars rest in leaf shelters.
Flight: Three to four broods throughout the year in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra) in Texas and Gaudichaudia pentandra in Mexico; both in the Malpighia family.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Small clearings and edges in tropical woods, city flower gardens, roadsides, fencerows, streamsides.
Range: Argentina north through tropical America to the West Indies and South Texas. Strays north to southern Arizona, Nevada, and Kansas.
Conservation: Populations and their habitat in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be conserved.
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. 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.