Fiery Skipper

Hylephila phyleus

Summary 5

The Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae, subfamily Hesperiinae. Males perch in lawns and grassy swales to wait for receptive females. Adults use nectar from flowers of a variety of plants including sweet pepperbush, swamp milkweed, asters, sneezeweed, knapweed, ironweed, and thistles.

The caterpillars are often considered pests and can feed on bermudagrass, creeping bentgrass, and St. Augustine grass.

Description 6

Antennae are very short. Male wide black stigma. Upper side orange or yellow with black spots. Underside of the hind wing is scattered with small black spots. Female: Upperside is dark brown with a very irregular orange band. Underside of hind wing is pale brown with paler checks.

Larva Description 6

Head black; prothorax white apically with black distal margin. Body pale yellowish-green covered with tiny white spots.

Larval Host Plants 6

The caterpillars are often considered pests and can feed on Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), crabgrass (Digitaria), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and other grasses.

GTM Occurrence 6

The Firey Skipper is considered a frequent species at the GTM. Most observations are in the open habitat along Transect A. Only a few observations have been made in the forest along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B, 2 specimens) and the Red Bay Walk (Transect D, 1 specimen). Adults are flying from April to December with peak abundance in September. There have been 102 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 7

Fiery skippers range in the Nearctic region throughout the southern United States and east toward the Atlantic. They are not found, however, in the Rockies or the Great Basin. Their southern range extends into the Subtropical region to Argentina and the Antilles. In North America, fiery skippers immigrate into northern areas but cannot overwinter in any life stage in regions that have harsh winters.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic ; neotropical

Habitat 8

Fiery skippers are found most often in open areas, grassy fields, meadows, lawns, and alfalfa and clover fields.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

Comments: In the United States a great variety of open mostly unnatural situations, for example commonly in weedy lawns.

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Ilona L, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  2. (c) Bill Bouton, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  3. (c) Vicki DeLoach, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  4. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve,
  5. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  6. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  7. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  8. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA),
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

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