Obscure Skipper (Panoquina panoquinoides [Skinner])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Wings are dull brown. Upperside of forewing may or may not have a few pale spots. Underside of hindwing is plain brown with 3 pale spots.
Life history: To await receptive females, males perch on beach grasses. Females lay eggs on the host and on other plants. Caterpillars spend the day in shelters of rolled or tied leaves and feed on leaves at night.
Flight: Two broods; from February-December in Florida, June-November in Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), and sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of rattlebox and probably other flowers.
Habitat: Dunes, salt marshes, open fields.
Range: Along the coastal areas of Florida, the Keys, west along the Gulf coast to Texas, and south through the West Indies and South America to Peru.
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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann