Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Desert Checkered-Skipper
Burnsius philetas W.H. Edwards, 1881

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Pyrginae
Identification: Upperside dark brown with whitish markings; male has a few long gray-blue hairs and a costal fold on the forewing. Hindwing has tiny marginal and submarginal spots; median band of female is reduced. Underside of hindwing is pale grayish white.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 2.9 cm).
Life History: To await females, males patrol and occasionally perch throughout the day in gulches and near springs. Caterpillars live and feed in shelters made of webbed leaves.
Flight: Two to three broods; from February-December in Texas, April-October in Arizona.
Caterpillar Hosts: Mallows including malva loca (Malvastrum) and alkali mallows (Sida).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open, moist spots in deserts or thorn forests.
Range: Southern Arizona east to South Texas, south to southern Mexico. Strays north to northern Arizona and north Texas.
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.
Taxonomy Notes: Formerly in the genus Pyrgus.
Alternate Scientific Names:
Pyrgus philetas