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Whirlabout
Polites vibex

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2017.

Description:
Small butterfly measuring up to 1 1/2" in length. Males and females are very different. The male is yellow-orange in color, the forewing has a black stigma and neighboring black square patch, and the underside is yellow-orange with a few large blurred black spots. The female is dark brown in color with a few clear spots and the underside is gray or sooty yellow with a central pale patch outlined with dark scales. Caterpillars are brownish green with a black head and a thin, dark stripe on their dorsal side.
Range:
North America, West Indies, Central America, South America
Habitat(s):
Scrubs, sandhills, flatwoods, and weedy disturbed areas including roadsides, yards, and parks.
Reproduction:
White eggs are laid singly on host plant leaves.
Natural History:
Caterpillars find shelter in silked together tubes of leaves.
Food:
Larval host plants include the native thin paspalum (Paspalum setaceum) and the nonnative Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum). Nectar host plants include the weedy native Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata).
Comments:
Garden abundance is moderate.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2017.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2019.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2012.



 
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