Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Small Checkered-Skipper
Pyrgus scriptura (Boisduval, 1852)


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Pyrginae
Identification: Upperside is black-brown; forewing white spots are small; hindwing spots are few and submarginal row may be absent. Underside of forewing repeats upperside markings. Underside of hindwing is pale with barely contrasting markings. Male does not have a costal fold. White hindwing fringe is streaked with black only halfway to the edge of the fringe.
Wing Span: 3/4 - 1 inch (2 - 2.5 cm).
Life History: Males patrol and occasionally perch in swales and gullies in their search for receptive females. Eggs are deposited singly on leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars make a webbed leaf nest in which they live and feed.
Flight: One brood from July-August in the north, several broods from March-November in the southern part of the range.
Caterpillar Hosts: Alkali mallow (Sida hederacea), scarlet globemallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea), and desert globemallow (S. ambigua); all in the mallow family (Malvaceae).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Prairie, open woodland, alkaline marshes and fields.
Range: Montana and eastern Wyoming south through Colorado and New Mexico to Mexico; west through Utah, Nevada, and Arizona to southern California and Baja California Norte.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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

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.