Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius [J. E. Smith])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm).
Identification: Wings are dark brown. Upperside of male forewing has a dark black stigma; female forewing has transparent white spots. Underside of hindwing has dark and light patches and a violet-blue sheen.
Life history: To seek females, males perch on vegetation a few inches from the ground in the partial shade of forest edges or clearings.
Flight: Throughout the year in Florida and South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), wooly beard grass (Erianthus alopecturoides), and Echinochloa povietianum.
Adult food: Various pink, purple, or white flowers including shepherd's needle, selfheal, vervain, buttonbush, and lantana.
Habitat: Forest edges and clearings near rivers and swamps.
Range: Georgia east to Texas; south to Florida; south through Mexico and Central America to Venezuela and Colombia.
Conservation: Not 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.
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. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann