Mimosa Skipper (Cogia calchas [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 1 3/16 - 1 3/4 inches (3 - 4.5 cm).
Identification: Forewings are elongated. Upperside is dark brown; forewing with 3-4 very small white dots near the apex, and sometimes an indistinct white spot at the center of the leading edge. Underside is dark brown; hindwing has a gray anal fold and pale wavy lines.
Life history: To seek females males perch in grassy open areas. Females deposit eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in shelters of rolled or tied leaves.
Flight: Three broods from March-November in South Texas; throughout the year in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Mimosa pigra, Indigofera, Malicia, and Schrankia; all in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Creeks, canals, oxbow lakes, fields, city flower gardens.
Range: Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to South Texas.
Conservation: Populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be monitored and 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.
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.