Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Mexican Sootywing
Pholisora mejicanus (Reakirt, [1867])

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Pyrginae
Identification: Upperside is glossy black; forewing has many white spots. Underside of hindwing is blue-gray with contrasting black veins.
Wing Span: 15/16 - 1 3/16 inches (2.4 - 3 cm).
Life History: Adults bask with the wings spread open. To find receptive females, males patrol near the ground in sunny places; mating takes place in the morning and afternoon. Near midday, females lay eggs singly on the tops of host plant leaves. Caterpillars live and feed within shelters of folded leaves. Caterpillars of the second brood overwinter in their silk-lined leaf shelters and pupate within them in the spring.
Flight: Two broods from May-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Amaranths (Amaranthus) and lambsquarters (Chenopodium).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open areas such as gulches, canyons, roadsides, and along railways.
Range: Central Colorado south through New Mexico to Oaxaca, Mexico. A rare stray to South and central Texas.
Conservation: Populations in the United States should be located, monitored, and their habitat needs ascertained.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL
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