Hoary Skipper (Carrhenes canescens [R. Felder])
Wing span: 1 - 1 5/16 inches (2.5 - 3.3 cm).
Identification: Wings are nearly translucent, especially near the body. Upperside of wing is gray-brown with a complex pattern; forewing has 8 or 9 small transparent spots. Underside is gray-white with thin dark bands.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: February-May and October-December in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Hibiscus in the mallow family (Malvaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including lemon blossoms.
Habitat: Tropical scrub; lemon groves in South Texas.
Range: Argentina north through mainland tropical America to Mexico. Periodic resident in the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
Conservation: Monitor and conserve populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
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