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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Zabulon Skipper
Poanes zabulon  BOISDUVAL & LE CONTÉ, 1837
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - HESPERIINAE
Tribe -
Poanes zabulon, male, Tennessee, USA © Ken Childs
Introduction
There are 16 species in the genus Poanes, of which 9 occur north of Mexico. A further 6 species are found in various parts of Central America, and a single species zachaeus occurs in Surinam.
Poanes zabulon is sexually dimorphic - males have a distinctive cream and tan underside, while in females it is brown, marked with faint spots and a bluish margin - hence the alternative English name of Southern Dimorphic Skipper.
This species is found central and south-eastern states of the USA.
Habitats
Poanes zabulon is found in open deciduous woodland, preferring shady areas. It occurs at altitudes between sea level and at least 1200m.
Lifecycle
The egg is globular and creamy. It is laid singly on the underside of a grass blade. The larva lives solitarily. It spends the day hiding within a shelter constructed by spinning together grass blades, and crawls up the stem to feed during the night. It feeds on a wide variety of grasses including Poa, Tridens, Eragrostis, Puccinellia, Agropyron, Dactylis, Elymus and Agrostis. The chrysalis is formed within the larval shelter.
Adult behaviour
Males commonly imbibe moisture from damp ground. They perch on tall grasses or on bushes to await passing females. Both sexes take nectar from a wide variety of herbaceous flowers.
 

 

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