Zestos Skipper (Epargyreus zestos [Geyer])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 3/8 inches (4.5 - 6 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown-black with a transparent gold stripe across the middle of the forewing. Underside of hindwing is reddish brown and usually has no silver mark.
Life history: Males patrol for females; adults have an erratic flight.
Flight: January-November in south Florida.
Caterpillar hosts: Galactia in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including Bidens, Lantana, and Bougainvillea.
Habitat: Subtropical coastal scrub.
Range: Southern Florida and the Keys; the West Indies.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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. Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann