Texas Powdered Skipper (Systasea pulverulenta [R. Felder])
Wing span: 15/16 - 1 3/8 inches (2.4 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Outer margin of hindwing has 2 deep indentations. Upperside is orange-brown with darker olive-brown areas; forewing has a median band of transparent spots all in a row.
Life history: To seek females, males perch in gulches. Females deposit eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in folded-leaf nests; fully-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: February-December in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Various plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Openings in thorn forest and scrub, parks, near rivers.
Range: South and west Texas south through Mexico to Guatemala.
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.
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. 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.