Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Carus Skipper
Polites carus (W.H. Edwards, 1883)


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Fringes are pale but not white. Upperside is brownish orange. Forewing has white or yellowish spots which are larger in the female; male forewing has a narrow black stigma. Underside is light brown with paler veins.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Adults have a low, rapid flight. To await females, males perch in the afternoon on flat bare ground near grasses.
Flight: Several broods from March-September (three broods along the Arizona-Mexico border).
Caterpillar Hosts: Probably a variety of grasses (Poaceae).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including milkweed (Asclepias) and Cnidoscolus.
Habitat: Grassy areas in deserts and oak-pinyon woodland, and along washes and small streams.
Range: Uncommon in three separate populations California; southern Arizona east to southwest Texas; Mexico.
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.