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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Acacia Skipper
Cogia hippalus  EDWARDS, 1882
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - EUDAMINI
Cogia hippalus, Arizona, USA  Tony Hoare
Introduction
The subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the Hesperiinae. The tribe Eudamini includes 44 genera.
There are 15 Cogia species, distributed variously from California to Bolivia and Argentina.
The uppersides of most species are chocolate brown or reddish-brown, usually with a cluster of 3 small hyaline sub-apical spots, and a diagonal band of squarish hyaline spots which vary in size and configuration according to species. The undersides of most species are marbled in a manner similar to that of hippalus, although 2 species abdul and hassan are marked with a series of pale radiating and concentric lines which form a reticulated pattern on the underside hindwings.
Cogia hippalus occurs as 4 subspecies - peninsularis from California, hippalus which is found from Arizona to Mexico, hiska which occurs from east Mexico to Costa Rica, and hesta, found in Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.
Habitats
This species is found in open deciduous woodland and scrubby grassland, at elevations between sea-level and about 800m.
Lifecycle
The egg is laid singly on the leaves of Vachelia or Acacia ( Fabaceae ). The caterpillar is translucent bluish-green, becoming yellowish on the wrinkled skin between the segments. There is a suffused dark green dorsal line, and the entire body is covered in tiny whitish protuberances, giving it a very rough appearance. The head is wider than the body, and is chestnut brown in colour. The larva lives solitarily within a leaf-tent constructed by silking together a cluster of leaves, and constructs a new tent after each moult. The pupa is reddish-brown and is formed within the final tent.
Adult behaviour
Males perch on bushes, where they await passing females. They also visit patches of damp ground to imbibe mineralised moisture. Both sexes nectar at a wide variety of flowering plants including Rubus, Lantana, Eupatorium and Acacia.
 

 

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