- Experienced butterfliers are often daunted by the variablitiy of this butterfly. One of the three butterflies also referred to as wizards.
Common Names in English:
'The Hesperiidae are members
of the Superfamily
Hesperioidea. Worldwide in distribution, skippers are richest in the tropics. More than 3,500 species are described, with approximately 275 in North America, many of which are found only in Arizona and Texas. Most skippers are small to medium, usually orange, brown, black, white, or gray. A few have iridescent
colors. Skippers have large eyes, short antennae (often with hooked
clubs), stout bodies, and three pairs of walking legs
. Their flight is often rapid, making wing
movement appear blurred. Adults
of most species have long probicscises and feed
nectar, but some also take up nutrients
from bird droppings. Males have scent scales
found in modified forewing
patches. Males of most species locate mates by perching
and giant-skippers), though some patrol, especially in the open-winged skippers. Globular
are laid singly.
The grass skippers are members of the Family Hesperiidae. Distributed worldwide, they comprise more than 2,000 species, most of which are found in the American tropics. The small to medium-sized adults usually have abruptly angled antennae with an apiculus at the tip . Adults of many temperate species are predominantly orange, while brown is the most common color of the tropical species. Male forewings usually have a brand or stigma with specialized scales . Most species have long proboscises and are avid flower-visitors. Adults flight is rapid, and perching posture is unique: the hindwings are opened at a wider angle than the forewings. Males of most species perch while looking for mates. Caterpillars feed on monocotyledons (grasses and allied plants ) and live in silken leaf nests that sometimes extend underground. Grass skippers typically overwinter as caterpillars within their shelters .
Males and females are very different. Male Upperside is yellow-orange; forewing has a black stigma and neighboring black square patch ; black margins of hindwing are smooth inwardly. Underside is yellow-orange; hindwing has a few large blurred black spots . Female: Upperside is dark brown; forewing has a few clear spots. Underside is gray or sooty yellow with a central pale patch outlined with dark scales .
Wing span : 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.9 cm).
Scrubby or open habitats
including dunes, fields
, gardens and parks.
Even more so than the Fiery Skipper, the Whirlabout favors hot, barren places. Sunny, sandy roadsides, barren fields, openings in longleaf pine/scrub oak sandhills , dunes, and other somewhat "sterile-looking" places are favored by this skipper. It does visit gardens, but it is greatly outnumbered there by the Fiery Skipper. (ref. 104741)
Caterpillar hosts: Grasses including Bermuda grass
. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and thin paspalum
(Paspalum setaceum). Adult
food: Nectar from flowers including
Various grasses, including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), are the foodplants. The species nectars on many flowers, especially those blooming close to the ground , within a few inches. (ref. 104741)
Adult flight is quick and darting. Females are usually found in forest openings or edges ; males perch to await females during the afternoon. Caterpillars live in a tube of silked-together leaves and feed mostly at night.
Flight: Two broods from April-September in the north; all year in
Florida and South Texas.
Flight period: Seemingly three broods between late April and early November. Dips in the flight charts around mid-June and mid-August seem to indicate the breaks between broods. The highest numbers occur from late July to early October. (ref. 104741)
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Latreille, 1829
- Snodgrass, 1938
- Heymons, 1901
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- Epiclass: Hexapoda ()
- Superclass: Panhexapoda ()
- Infraphylum: Atelocerata () - Heymons, 1901
- Subphylum: Mandibulata () - Snodgrass, 1938
- Phylum: Arthropoda () - Latreille, 1829 - Arthropods
- Superphylum: Panarthropoda () - Cuvier
- Infrakingdom: Ecdysozoa () - A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Protostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Name Status: Accepted Name .
Members of the genus Polites
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 26 species and subspecies in this genus:
P. baracoa (Baracoa Skipper) · P. carus (Carus Skipper) · P. coras (Peck's Skipper) · P. draco (Draco Skipper) · P. mardon (Mardon Skipper) · P. mardon klamathensis (Mardon Skipper) · P. mardon mardon (Mardon Skipper) · P. mystic (Long Dash) · P. mystic mystic (Long Dash) · P. origenes (Crossline Skipper) · P. origenes rhena (Rhena Skipper) · P. peckius (Peck's Skipper) · P. rhesus (Rhesus Skipper) · P. sabuleti (Sandhill Skipper) · P. sabuleti albamontana (White Mountain Skipper) · P. sabuleti channelensis (Sandhill Skipper) · P. sabuleti ministigma (Sandhill Skipper) · P. sabuleti nigrescens (Dark Sandhill Skipper) · P. sabuleti sinemaculata (Bleached Sandhill Skipper) · P. sabuleti tecumseh (Tecumseh Skipper) · P. sonora (Sonora Skipper) · P. sonora flavaventris (Sonora Skipper) · P. sonora longinqua (Sonora Skipper) · P. sonora siris (Dog Star Skipper) · P. themistocles (Tawny-Edged Skipper) · P. vibex (Whirlabout)
- Search for Pictures: images.google.com
- Search for Scholarly Articles: Google Scholar
- Search using Scientific Name and Vernacular Names: All the Web | AltaVista Canada | AltaVista | Excite | Google | HotBot | Lycos
- Search using Specialized Databases: GenBank | Medline | Scirus | CISTI/CAL | Agricola Periodicals | Agricola Books
- Annotated checklist of the butterflies of Illinois [by] Roderick R. Irwin [and] John C. Downey. Urbana, Illinois Natural History Survey, 1973. url p. 34.
- Bulletin - United States National Museum. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, [etc.];1877-1971. url p. 254.
- The University of Kansas science bulletin. 26 1939 [Lawrence]: University of Kansas, 1902-1996. url p. 354.
- Tulane studies in zoology. 6 1958 New Orleans: Tulane University, 1953-1968. url p. 71.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 15, 2012.
- Butterflies of North Carolina
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed February 26, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from 2 providers.
- LepIndex: The Global Lepidoptera Names Index
- Opler, Paul A., Harry Pavulaan, Ray E. Stanford, Michael Pogue, coordinators. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Mountain Prairie Information Node. March 26, 2007.
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 26, 2008:
- Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility: Canadian National Collection (CNC) of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes
- Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (Costa Rica): Biodiversidad de Costa Rica
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2602516
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-186839.0
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEP66100
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 171612