Brown-banded Skipper (Timochares ruptifasciatus [Plötz])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 11/16 inches (3.8 - 4.3 cm).
Identification: Upperside of forewing is dark brown with irregular bands of darker spots; does not have transparent spots. Hindwing is orange-brown; upperside with 3 dark bands, underside with muted mottling.
Life history: Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in shelters of rolled leaves.
Flight: Many broods from March-November in South Texas and Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Barbados cherry (Malpighia glabra).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Openings and edges in tropical forests; city flower gardens.
Range: South Texas, Mexico, and Jamaica.
Conservation: Habitat in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be expanded.
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: Monitor populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
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.
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.