Erichson's White-Skipper (Heliopetes domicella [Erichson])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Fringes are checkered. Upperside is slate gray with a wide white band on each wing; many small white spots on outer third of wings. Underside is dull yellowish brown with whitish spots.
Life history: Not reported, but almost certainly plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) such as malva loca (Malvastrum).
Flight: April-December in South Texas, all year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Scrub, thorn-scrub, weedy areas, and desert, usually near water.
Range: Northern Mexico south through Central America to Argentina. A regular stray north to southeastern California, southern Nevada, central Arizona, and central Texas.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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.
Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages. 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.