Arizona Skipper (Codatractus arizonensis [Skinner])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 inches (4.5 - 5.1 cm).
Identification: Fringes are checkered. Upperside is dark brown; hindwing has an olive-brown overlay. Forewing median band consists of 4 large shiny white spots both above and below. Underside of hindwing has gray overscales on the outer third and 2 irregular dark bands.
Life history: Males are highly territorial and perch on shrub branches.
Flight: Several flights in Mexico from April-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Tahitian kidneywood (Eysenhardtia orthocarpa) in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Usually near water in desert mountains, canyons, and washes.
Range: Southern Arizona, west Texas, and Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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.
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 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.