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Butterflies of North America -- Cymaenes tripunctus

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Three-spotted Skipper (Cymaenes tripunctus)

Three-spotted Skipper (Cymaenes tripunctus [Herrich-Schäffer])

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

Identification: Wings are dull dark brown. Upperside of forewing has 3 tiny transparent white spots on the leading edge near the tip and 2-3 spots at the end of the cell. Underside of hindwing is yellow-brown with faint pale spots near the center.

Life history: Females lay eggs on top of host plant leaves, which caterpillars eat. Caterpillars live in nests of rolled leaves.

Flight: Several broods from March-October.

Caterpillar hosts: Guinea grass (Panicum maximum).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Grassy subtropical areas.

Range: South Florida and the Keys south through the West Indies, central Mexico, and Central America to Paraguay.

Conservation: Not usually required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns 
     Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

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.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
     Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

Three-spotted Skipper (Cymaenes tripunctus)
distribution map
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