Yuma Skipper (Ochlodes yuma [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside has narrow dark borders blending into the reddish orange ground color, dark veins, and small indistinct pale spots. Male has a long, narrow black stigma; females is larger and darker with pale spots more distinct. Underside of hindwing is yellow with no markings or with very faint pale spots.
Life history: Males perch among host plants in low spots all day to await females. Females deposit eggs on or near the host plants. Caterpillars feed on leaves and take shelter in nests of rolled leaves.
Flight: Two broods from June-July and August-September from California north to southern Utah; one brood from July-September along the Colorado River.
Caterpillar hosts: Common reed (Phragmites australis).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Freshwater marshes, stream courses, oases, ponds, seeps, sloughs, springs, and canals.
Range: Common in its limited habitat in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Arizona.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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: Control of its hostplant, common reed, should be avoided throughout its range.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Hinchliff, J. 1996. The Distribution of the Butterflies of Washington. Evergreen Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Pyle, R.M. 1974. Watching Washington Butterflies. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Wash. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.