North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Purplish-black Skipper (Nisoniades rubescens)
JPG -- species photo

Purplish-black Skipper (Nisoniades rubescens [Möschler])

Wing span: 1 - 1 7/16 inches (2.5 - 3.7 cm).

Identification: Upperside is mottled black; forewing has tiny white subapical spots.

Life history: Females deposit eggs on the upperside of host plant leaves.

Flight: October-November in South Texas; July-November in Mexico.

Caterpillar hosts: Wild morning glories (Ipomoea) in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Tropical, usually in lowlands.

Range: Brazil north through tropical America to northern Mexico. Occasionally strays to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.

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

Purplish-black Skipper (Nisoniades rubescens)
distribution map
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