North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Python Skipper (Atrytonopsis python)
JPG -- species photo

Python Skipper (Atrytonopsis python [W. H. Edwards])

Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.2 cm).

Identification: Forewings are long and pointed; fringes checkered. Upperside is brown; forewing with yellowish translucent spots, hindwing with 1-4 tiny pale spots at the end of the cell. Underside of forewing is the same as the upperside; hindwing is mottled light and dark brown with small pale spots.

Life history: Not reported.

Flight: One flight from April-July in southern Arizona, perhaps several flights elsewhere.

Caterpillar hosts: Grasses.

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including yellow composites, Verbena, and Astragalus.

Habitat: Middle elevations in the mountains, open woodland.

Range: Southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and west Texas.

Conservation: Populations and their habitats should be conserved wherever found.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).

Management needs: None reported.


Bailowitz, R. A., and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of southeastern Arizona. 
     Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc., Tucson, Arizona. 342 pages.

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

Python Skipper (Atrytonopsis python)
distribution map
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