Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

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

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Tribe: Megathymini
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: