Common Name: Fiery Skipper

Scientific Name: Hylephila phyleus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Family: Hesperiidae

Genus: Hylephila

Species: H. phyleus

 

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The Hylephila phyleus, or the Fiery Skipper, is from the Animalia family.  It is a very pretty butterfly with distinct markings on its wings.  Male Fiery Skippers are yellow and orange with some black spots, while females are a yellowish brown with dusty brown spots.  These butterflies vary in size, but are known to be approximately one inch long.  Some characteristics to help us identify these insects are the way they fly.  They have a way of rapidly darting to their destination.

 

The diet of the Fiery Skipper is Bermuda grass, which is where they get their other nickname, the Lawn Skipper.  They avoid possible predators by rolling themselves into the grass and acting like a caterpillar.  The Fiery Skipper caterpillar has a dark outer shield that is thoracic.

 

These butterflies can be commonly located on golf courses.  They do very well in residential areas.  The Fiery Skipper is usually found in California, particularly throughout Baja California and Northern Mexico.

There is a constant growth that is very rapid in the Fiery Skipper’s population because of the rapid reproduction rate.  The amount of eggs per birth is outstanding, the egg count ranges from fifty to one-hundred and fifty per birth.  There is not any conservation needed because this insect is not endangered.

 

I learned a lot about this butterfly.  One thing that really stood out to me was, I did not realize I could walk into my backyard and see a Hylephila Phyleus.  It is pretty amazing.

 

Author:  Colten V

Published:  02/2010

Sources:

"Fiery skipper -." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 1 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiery_skipper>.

 

Destructive Turf Caterpillars in Hawaii. Cooperative Extension Service, July 2000. Web. 9 Feb. 2010. <http://turfgrass.ctahr.hawaii.edu/downloads/turf%20catepillars.pdf>.

 

"SDNHM - Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus." San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection in Balboa Park. Liza Blue, 2009. Web. 10 Feb. 2010. http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/inverts/fieryskipper.html.

 

Photo Credit:

Marian Mendez

05/2010