Fiery Skipper

Hylephila phyleus

Order: 

Lepidoptera

Family: 

Hesperiidae

The Hylephila phyleus has dimorphic physical attributes such as the males with wide black stigmas and scattered small black spots on the hindwing.  In contrast, the female fiery skipper maintains a dark brown upper-side with an irregular orange band.  The underside of hindwing is pale brown with paler checks.   Both female and male sexes have a wing span of approximately 3.2-3.8 cm.  While the general habitat includes open areas such as fields, lawns, and gardens, the geographic distribution ranges from Southern United States through the West Indies and Central America to Argentina.  The Hylephila phyleus cannot survive harsh winters with cold weather (1).  While the eggs are laid on or around grasses, the caterpillars remain hidden out of sight by rolling the grass into small shelters on the ground.  During this time, the females will search for suitable habitats while the males will look for potential locations with females to mate (2).

 

(1) “Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus (Drury, 1773).” Butterflies and Moths of North America, Metalmark Web and Data, https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hylephila-phyleus.

(2) “Species Hylephila phyleus – Fiery Skipper – Hodges#4013.” BugGuide, Iowa State University, https://bugguide.net/node/view/406.