Mimosa Skipper (Cogia calchas [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 1 3/16 - 1 3/4 inches (3 - 4.5 cm).
Identification: Forewings are elongated. Upperside is dark brown; forewing with 3-4 very small white dots near the apex, and sometimes an indistinct white spot at the center of the leading edge. Underside is dark brown; hindwing has a gray anal fold and pale wavy lines.
Life history: To seek females males perch in grassy open areas. Females deposit eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in shelters of rolled or tied leaves.
Flight: Three broods from March-November in South Texas; throughout the year in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Mimosa pigra, Indigofera, Malicia, and Schrankia; all in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Creeks, canals, oxbow lakes, fields, city flower gardens.
Range: Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to South Texas.
Conservation: Populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be monitored and conserved.
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 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