Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Strecker's Giant-Skipper
Megathymus streckeri (Skinner, 1895)

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Megathyminae
Identification: Forewings are wide. Upperside is black; forewing has white spots near the tip and a yellow band; hindwing has a white to yellow marginal band and long hairlike scales. Underside of hindwing is gray or mottled gray and black, and has few to several white spots.
Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 3 1/16 inches (5.7 - 7.8 cm).
Life History: Females make clicking noises during flight. Adults bask on old yucca stalks with their hindwings spread; the uppersides resemble old seedpods. To await receptive females, males perch and sometimes patrol all day around the host plants. Females glue eggs singly on leaves of the host plant. A young caterpillar burrows into the stem to the root without making a tent. After hibernating in the burrow, the caterpillar surfaces through the stem or soil and constructs a tent of silk, soil, and plant debris in which to pupate. Chrysalids can move about in their tent.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Small soapweed (Yucca glauca), Buckley yucca (Y. constricta), fineleaf yucca (Y. angustissima), and Bailey's yucca (Y. baileyi).
Adult Food: Adults do not feed, but males sip moisture from mud.
Habitat: Sand hills, rocky bluffs, short-grass prairie, shrubland, open woodland.
Range: Southeastern Montana and southwestern North Dakota south to South Texas, west to northwestern Arizona and southwestern Utah.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.