North American Butterflies and Moths List

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of New Mexico

Four-spotted Skipperling (Piruna polingi)
JPG -- species photo

Four-spotted Skipperling (Piruna polingi [Barnes])

Wing span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm).

Identification: Upperside is glossy dark brown with small transparent white spots on the forewing and 2-3 white spots on the hindwing. Underside is reddish brown with forewing spots repeated and 3 silver median spots on the hindwing.

Life history: Adults rest with their wings closed, but bask with hindwings open wide and forewings open to about 45 degrees. Males patrol to find receptive females. Caterpillars live and feed within nests of webbed leaves. Fully-grown caterpillars hibernate.

Flight: One brood from June-August.

Caterpillar hosts: Not reported; probably grasses, rushes, or sedges.

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Moist woodland openings with lush vegetation, meadows, and ravines.

Range: Central New Mexico and central Arizona south to Mexico.

Conservation: Populations need to be located, monitored, and their conservation needs assessed.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).

Management needs: None reported.


Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford
     University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color

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

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

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.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data
     for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.
Four-spotted Skipperling (Piruna polingi)
distribution map
map legend

Return to species list
Return to Butterflies of North America main page