North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Starred Skipper (Arteurotia tractipennis)
JPG -- species photo

Starred Skipper (Arteurotia tractipennis Butler & Druce)

Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside is gray-brown; forewing has a black subapical patch with 3 small white dots inside it. Underside is orange-brown; hindwing has irregular white median spots.

Life history: Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in shelters of rolled or tied leaves.

Flight: September in South Texas; May-June in Mexico and Central America.

Caterpillar hosts: Croton in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Subtropical scrub and open weedy areas.

Range: Bolivia north through Central America to northern Mexico. Has strayed to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.

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:

Neck, R.W. 1996. A Field Guide to Butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., 
     Houston, Texas.

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.
Tveten, J. and Tveten, G.  1996.  Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas.
     Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, TX.  292 pp.
Starred Skipper (Arteurotia tractipennis)
distribution map
map legend

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