Northern White Skipper

Heliopetes ericetorum

Order: 

Lepidoptera

Family: 

Hesperiidae

The Heliopetes ericetorum has dimorphic physical attributes such as the male butterflies having white with narrow black chevrons.  In contrast, the female northern white skippers have thicker, darker markings and black at the wing base.  Both female and male have white with pale tan on the underside of the wings which have a wing-span of approximately 3.2-3.8 cm.  Host plants to the caterpillars include a variety of plants including globemallows, hollyhock, and mallow.  Food sources of the adult butterflies include flower nectar while caterpillars feed on leaves of the host plants.  Habitats of the Heliopetes ericetorum include open woodland, chaparral, dry washes, desert mountains, and arid land, while the geographic distribution ranges from Eastern Washington to Baja California (1).

(1)“Northern White-Skipper Heliopetes ericetorum (Boisduval, 1852).”  Butterflies and Moths of North America, Metalmark Web and Data, https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Heliopetes-ericetorum