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Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

Checkered Skipper
Habitat: Most open, sunny and disturbed areas such as roadsides, fallow agricultural land, utility easements, and old fields. Garden Abundance: Occasional to high Wingspan: 1 - 1.25 in Range: Throughout most of the continental United States Larval Host Plants: Sidas, including Sida rhombifolia and S. acuta, hollyhock (Alcea rosea), as well as various poppy mallows (Callirhoe spp.) and other herbs in the hibiscus family Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: A wide variety of plants including frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), Spanish needles (Bidens alba), and purpletop verbena (Verbena bonariensis)

The checkered skipper is a small and often abundant butterfly found in open, disturbed areas. It often flies low to the ground in a quick, darting fashion, fast and straight. As its name implies, the wings above are brownish gray with numerous small white patches or checks. The wings below are white with dark lines and patches.

The small green eggs are laid singly on the leaves of the host. The developing larvae create individual shelters by folding or tying leaves together with silk. The mature larva is yellow green with a rounded, dark head and numerous hairs covering the body, giving it a fuzzy appearance. Mature caterpillars typically pupate within their leaf shelters. Numerous generations are produced each year.

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