Starred Skipper (Arteurotia tractipennis Butler & Druce)
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is gray-brown; forewing has a black subapical patch with 3 small white dots inside it. Underside is orange-brown; hindwing has irregular white median spots.
Life history: Caterpillars feed on leaves and rest in shelters of rolled or tied leaves.
Flight: September in South Texas; May-June in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Croton in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical scrub and open weedy areas.
Range: Bolivia north through Central America to northern Mexico. Has strayed to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.
Management needs: None reported.
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