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Long-tailed Skipper
Urbanus proteus
Hesperiidae

Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018.

Description:
Medium sized butterfly measuring up to 2 5/16" in length. The upperside is dark blackish brown in color, the body and wing bases are iridescent blue-green with semitransparent spots on the forewings. The tails are long. Caterpillars are yellow green with a crimson head, yellow lateral stripes, and small black spots along the body.
Range:
North America, West Indies, Central America, South America
Habitat(s):
Disturbed areas, forest edges and gardens.
Reproduction:
Light yellow eggs are laid under the leaves of host plants.
Natural History:
Caterpillars shelter in leaves tied together with silk. Adults migrate southward to warmer parts of the state to overwinter.
Food:
Caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants. Larval host plants include the native spurred butterfly-pea (Centrosema virginianum), butterfly pea (Clitoria mariana), Florida ticktrefoil (Desmodium floridanum), West Indian beggar's-ticks (Desmodium incanum), panicledleaf ticktrefoil (Desmodium paniculatum), Eastern milkpea (Galactia regularis), Florida hammock milkpea (Galactia striata), thicket bean (Phaseolus polystachios var. sinuatus), least snoutbean (Rhynchosia minima), and cow-pea (Vigna luteola) and the nonnative white moneywort (Alysicarpus vaginalis), Asian pigeonwings (Clitoria ternatea), dixie ticktrefoil (Desmodium tortuosum), soybean (Glycine max), shrubverbena (Lantana camara), wild-bean (Macroptilium lathyroides), and kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata). Nectar plants include the native yellow joyweed (Alternanthera flavescens), Jack-in-the-bush (Chromolaena odorata), wild-sage (Lantana involucrata), snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea), sweetscent (Pluchea odorata), and blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), the weedy native Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata) and the nonnative paper flower (Bougainvillea glabra) Mexican flamevine (Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides), and Brazilian-pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).
Comments:
Garden abundance is moderate to high.

Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018.

Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018.

Copyright by: Beryn Harty, 2018.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2018.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2018.

Copyright by: Mary Keim, 2011. Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) on Cow-pea (Vigna luteola).



 
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