Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Western Branded Skipper
Hesperia colorado (Scudder, 1874)

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Extremely variable; many geographical forms with differing appearances. Adults (especially males) have relatively pointed forewing tips and more warm orange on the upperside. Band on hindwing underside may be complete, made of small or large spots, faint, or absent.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2- 3.8 cm).
Life History: To await receptive females, males perch near the host plant or on tops of hills. Females scatter eggs on or near the host; caterpillars eat leaves and live in nests of tied leaves. Eggs overwinter.
Flight: One brood from mid-July (as early as May in California) to late September.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including fescue (Festuca), brome (Bromus), bluegrass (Poa), needlegrass (Stipa), and beardgrass (Andropogon); sedges.
Adult Food: Nectar from many flowers including asters, goldenrods, and blazing star.
Habitat: Sunny open areas including forest openings and edges, meadows, fields, roadsides, trails, grassy slopes, and the alpine.
Range: From Washington and Wyoming south to Baja California Norte, southeastern Arizona, and western Nebraska.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
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