Bronze Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes aenus W. H. Edwards)
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown with a slight orange sheen; forewing with a few faint pale spots, hindwing with no markings. Male stigma is obscure. Underside of hindwing is reddish brown with a row of pale spots. Form "erna" lacks spots on the hindwing underside.
Life history: To wait for receptive females, males perch and patrol all day in gully bottoms. Caterpillars eat the leaves of host plants and make shelters of rolled or tied leaves. Half-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood in Colorado from April-July; two broods southward from April-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Indian woodoats grass (Chasmanthium latifolia), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), nodding brome (Bromus anomalus), and probably other grasses.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Gullies, stream bottoms, and foothills in open woodlands and grasslands; coniferous forests.
Range: Colorado and southen Utah south to Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico; south and east to central Texas, western Oklahoma, and south-central Kansas.
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.
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