Whirlabout

Polites vibex

Summary 7

The Whirlabout (Polites vibex) is a butterfly in the Hesperiidae family, subfamily Hesperiinae. Sexes are dimorphic with males mostly orange above and females dark brown.

Decription 8

Males and females are very different. Male Upper side is yellow-orange; forewing has a black stigma and neighboring black square patch; black margins of hindwing are smooth inwardly. Underside is yellow-orange; hind wing has a few large blurred black spots. Female: Upper side 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).

Larva Description 8

Head black with two cream vertical stripes, cream spots on each side of head and cream on front. Prothorax black with thin stripe; body pale green with dark dorsal stripe, speckled with dark green dots; spiracles black with A8 larger and dorsal to other spiracles.

Larval Host Plants 8

Grasses including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and thin paspalum (Paspalum setaceum).

GTM Occurrence 8

The Whirlabout is considered a frequent species at the GTM. Most observations are in the open habitat along Transect A. The Whirlabout has been recorded from all of the forest transects with most sightings along the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B). This species occurs from March to November with peak abundance in September and October. There have been 77 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Summary 9

The Whirlabout is resident from southeastern U.S. to the West Indies and Argentina, migrating northward to Ohio and Connecticut.

Habitat 10

A variety of mostly coastal plain grassy habitats where resident; usually seen in gardens northward.

Nature serve conservation status 11

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@N03/8021544869/
  2. (c) Dan Irizarry, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/danirizarry/5105364732/
  3. (c) Mary Keim, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/38514062@N03/4832725924/
  4. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2956083
  5. (c) pondhawk, some rights reserved (CC BY), https://www.flickr.com/photos/38686613@N08/4747741056/
  6. (c) gtmresearchreserve, all rights reserved, uploaded by GTMResearchReserve, http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/2956096
  7. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polites_vibex
  8. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  9. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polites_vibex
  10. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28820691
  11. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28820685

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