Garita Skipperling (Oarisma garita [Reakirt])
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 3/16 inches (1.9 - 3 cm).
Identification: Upperside ranges from orange to black. Underside of forewing is orange; hindwing is light brown with orange on the inner edge.
Life history: Adults are weak fliers. To find receptive females, males patrol all day in grassy areas. Females lay eggs singly on grass stems or blades. Fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood from June-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Short-grass prairie knolls, swales, limestone openings, open woodland, mountain meadows.
Range: High plains from central Alberta east to southern Manitoba, south through the Rocky Mountain region to northern Mexico. Strays east to central Ontario.
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.
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. 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