Four-spotted Skipperling (Piruna polingi [Barnes])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm).
Identification: Upperside is glossy dark brown with small transparent white spots on the forewing and 2-3 white spots on the hindwing. Underside is reddish brown with forewing spots repeated and 3 silver median spots on the hindwing.
Life history: Adults rest with their wings closed, but bask with hindwings open wide and forewings open to about 45 degrees. Males patrol to find receptive females. Caterpillars live and feed within nests of webbed leaves. Fully-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood from June-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported; probably grasses, rushes, or sedges.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Moist woodland openings with lush vegetation, meadows, and ravines.
Range: Central New Mexico and central Arizona south to Mexico.
Conservation: Populations need to be located, monitored, and their conservation needs assessed.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).
Management needs: None reported.
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