Silver-spotted Skipper

Epargyreus clarus

Summary 5

The Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae. It is claimed to be the most recognized skipper in North America. The Silver-spotted Skipper almost never visits yellow flowers but favors blue, red, pink, purple, and sometimes white and cream-colored ones. These include everlasting pea, common milkweed, red clover, buttonbush, blazing star, and thistles.

Description 6

The wingspan of an adult is 43–67 mm. The adult has translucent gold spots on the uppe rside of forewings. Underside of hind wings with silvery spots that forms an irregular band.

Larva Description 7

The larva is up to 2.0 inches in length. The head is dark reddish brown with large yellow eye patches. The prothoracic shield is brown. The abdomen is yellow with darker transverse stripes and spots. Prolegs are bright orange.

Larval Host Plants 7

The larvae feed on leaves of herbs, vines, shrubs, and trees in the pea family (Fabaceae) including false indigobush (Amorpha fruticosa L.), American hogpeanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata [L.] Fernald), Atlantic pidgeonwings or butterfly pea (Clitoria mariana L.), groundnut (Apios americana Medik.), American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens [L.] Poir.) and the introduced Dixie ticktrefoil (Desmodium tortuosum [Sw.] DC.), kudzu (Pueraria montana [Lour.] Merr.), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis [Sims] DC.) and a variety of other legumes (Minno et al 2005, Scott 1986).

GTM Occurrence 7

The Silver-spotted Skipper is considered a rare species at the GTM. All observations are in the open habitat along Transect A. There have only been 2 sightings at the GTM. They were June 28, 2010 (2 specimens) and August 13, 2012 (4 specimens). There have been 6 specimens observed as of December 6, 2015.

Distribution 7

Extreme southern Canada and most of the continental United States except the Great Basin and west Texas; northern Mexico.

Habitat 8

Pretty much any place with lots of the major foodplants whether wild or culitvated, native or not. Strays possible in any habitat.

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Mary Keim, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/38514062@N03/15022364412/
  2. (c) Jerry Oldenettel, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/jroldenettel/4515748951/
  3. (c) Stylurus, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/stylurus/2595516733/
  4. (c) muscogeegirl, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/muscogeegirl/14721174405/
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epargyreus_clarus
  6. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epargyreus_clarus
  7. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  8. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28797994
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28797988

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