Hylephila phyleus phyleus - Fiery Skipper (Drury, 1773)
Lepidoptera: Bombycina: Papilionoidea (nowadays) / Hesperioidea: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae
Date: 20th of May, 2018 at 11:24:18am.
Location: Brazil, Ceará, Fortaleza, Trilha do Parque do Cocó.
Hylephila phyleus phyleus is a butterfly in the order Lepidoptera, subdivision Bombycina, superfamily Papilionoidea (some authors insist on Hesperioidea), family Hesperiidae and subfamily Hesperiinae.
The subspecies is also known as H. phyleus muertovalle, and some authors go as far as to allocate other subspecies inside the subspecies H. phyleus phyleus, so I believe, based on the sources I have posted deep below this post, that it is safe to call this butterfly a Hylephila phyleus phyleus given the morphological attributes and distribution status.
Their wingspan ranges from 3 to 4cm. Males are usually seen perching in lawns or weedy places to wait for females. Based on the information displayed below, this is a male. After being impregnated, the females will lay their eggs individually under the leaves of plants and under objects. The caterpillars will feed on the leaves of the plant they were laid on with an unusual trait of rolling and tying up those leaves to make shelters that lie lengthwise under grass blades (Scott, 1986).
The known host plants of the larvae include Cynodon dactylon ((L.) Pers., 1805) (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Cynodonteae) ("bermuda grass"), Digitaria sanguinalis ((L.) Scop) (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae) ("hairy crabgrass") and possibly other Digitaria, Stenotaphrum secundatum (Trin.) (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Panicodae: Paniceae: Cenchrinae) ("St. Augustine grass"), Paspalum sp. (L.) (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paspaleae: Paspalineae) ("dallisgrass"), Agrostis sp. (L.) (Poaceae: Pooideae: Aveneae) ("bentgrass"), Eragrostis (Neeragrostis to some authors) hypnoides ((Lam.) Britt., Sterns & Poggenb.) (Poaceae: Chloridoideae: Eragrostideae: Eragrostidinae) ("teal lovegrass"), Poa pratensis (L.) (Poaceae: Pooideae: Poeae) ("Kentucky bluegrass"), Saccharum officinarum (L.) (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Sacchareae: Saccharinae) ("sugarcane") and Axonopus compressus ((Sw.) P.Beauv.) (Poaceae: Panicoideae: Paniceae) (" broadleaf carpetgrass" / "American carpet grass" / "carpet grass" / "tropical carpet grass" / "blanket grass" / "lawn grass" / "Louisiana grass" / "savanna grass" / "Kearsney grass"). There is a high probability of the existence of many more host plants.
The known host plants of the adults include Bidens pilosa (L.) (Asteraceae: Asteroideae: Coreopsideae) ("hairy beggarticks"), Blechum pyramidatum ((Lam.) Urb.) (Acanthaceae: Acanthoideae: Ruellieae: Ruellinae) ("Browne's belchum"), Cestrum diurnum (L.) (Solanaceae: Cestroideae (ex: Browallioideae?): Cestreae) ("day jessamine"), Chromolaena odorata (L.) (Asteraceae: Asteroideae: Eupatorieae) ("blue mistflower"), Citrus sp. (L.) (Rutaceae: Aurantioideae: Citreae: Citrinae), Kallstroemia maxima ((L.) Hook. & Arn.) (Zygophyllaceae: Tribuloideae) ("big caltrop"), Macroptilium atropurpureum ((DC.) Urb.) (Fabaceae: Faboideae: Phaseoleae: Phaseolinae) ("siratro" / purple bush-bean"), Portulaca oleracea (L.) (Portulacaceae: Portulacarioideae) ("little hogweed"), Tournefortia hirsutissima (L.) (Boraginaceae: Heliotropioideae) ("chiggery grapes" / "soldier bush") Centaurea sp. (L.) (Asteraceae: Centaureinae: Cynareae: Centaureinae) ("knapweed"), Vernonia sp. (Schreb.) (Asteraceae: Cichorioideae: Vernonieae) ("ironweed"), thistles in the tribe Cardueae (syn: Cynareae) (Asteraceae: Carduoideae), Aster sp. (L., 1753) (Asteraceae: Asteroideae: Astereae) ("asters") and Clethra alnifolia (probably other Clethra as well) (L.) (Clethraceae) ("coastal sweet pepperbush" / "summersweet"). There is a high probability of the existence of many more host plants.
Adult males and females can be differentiated through careful examination. Both the male and the females have short, knobbed antennae, characteristic to Hesperiids in a general sense, and orange and brown patterned wings. The difference from a female and a male can be noted on the greater number and larger size of brown patches on both the top and underside of the wings. The edges of the males' wings possess black marginal markings and a toothed appearance (Brock and Kaufman, 2006). They possess variations as can be noted from the adults in the desert Southwest and California, which tend to be lighter in color, especially near Death Valley in California. Adults are able to mate the day they emerge and females can lay eggs three to four days after mating. Each female may deposit from 50 to 150 eggs. The larvae are nocturnal in activity and will remain in those shelters until nightfall. After the third instar, the larvae will begin to spin silk as the pupa stage nears. The pupae will stay in the leaf shelters. The emerged adult females will look for suitable habitats, while the males will perch and wait for the females to come by. It is suggested by Shapiro, 1975 that females were found to have traveled an average of 37 meters per day, with males traveling an average of 30 meters per day. Shapiro also suggests most dispersal occurs immediately after emergence.
The early stages of the pupae are yellow-green, maturing into a brown color, with the forewings of the adult visible as it nears eclosion. During this last period, the sex can already be determined. A cocoon can be made of the host plant and silk under a shelter, but if there is no availability of the materials needed, they can pupate without a cocoon.
The first instars of the larvae are green, turning into a darker brown in the later instars. First instar larvae possess a length that ranges from 2 to 3.9mm and increases from 17.9 to 29.9mm by the fifth instar. The head capsule of the first instar has a width that ranges from 0.4mm to 0.5mm, while the fifth instars' head capsule's width ranges from 2.7 to 3mm. A large, black, constricted segment behind the head capsule is prominent in all instars. The larval stage lasts around 16 days, when the larva will pupate and emerge 7 to 10 days later as adults.
The eggs are white when laid and reminiscent of pearls, turning into a shade of blue after a couple of days. They have a diameter of around 0.75mm and a height of around 0.52mm.
They prefer wet seasons, but occur during all months of the year within their permanent range.
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/BFLY/fiery_skipper.htm - Take a look at the "Selected References" at the end of the article in this link; there are plenty of good and interesting works there. Still, all my profiles in every single media I have an account in, and myself, reject any claims that stimulates people to kill insects. I position myself against this, and this is my position and should be respected. If you follow my beliefs system (which goes way deeper and beyond the variables for each case, including infestations and environmental imbalance), make sure to filter the informations on each article and link to fit them under your belief system.
The Fiery Skipper is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae and are approximately 1 inch long. The males are orange or yellow with black spots while the females are dark brown with orange or yellow spots. The caterpillars are greenish pink with a black head. The caterpillars are often considered pests and can feed on bermudagrass, creeping bentgrass, and St. Augustine grass.
Fiery skippers, along with all other species of skippers and skipperlings, can hold their wings in "triangle" shape... more