Home

 

 
Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Sonoran Skipper
Polites sonora  SCUDDER, 1872
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - HESPERIINAE
Tribe - HESPERIINI
Polites sonora, South Fork valley, Kern, California, USA  Frank Model
Introduction
In the Americas there are 2365 known species of Hesperiidae. These are split into 5 subfamilies i.e. Pyrrhopyginae, Heteropterinae, Megathyminae, Pyrginae and Hesperiinae. The Hesperiines of which there are about 1040 species, are known as Grass Skippers because their larvae feed on grasses, bamboos and other monocotyledons.
There are 18 Polites species, variously distributed from Canada to Argentina. The uppersides vary in ground colour from dark earthy brown to bright fulvous according the species, and most species are marked with suffused fulvous or white spots and streaks. Males have a very prominent black diagonal streak of androconial scales on the forewings.
The undersides are quite variable, e.g. dictynna is plain fulvous-yellow; the underside hindwing of bittiae is pale brown with a broad buff band, and in vibex it is pale yellow and spotted with brown. In most of the remaining species the unh is pale brown with white or yellow spots.
Polites sonora has a patchy distribution in the western states of the USA.
Habitats
This species is found in damp meadows, and in large glades in coniferous forest. It is often found in the vicinity of small streams.
Lifecycle
The egg is pale yellow and is laid singly on dry grasses or other dead vegetation in the vicinity of the larval foodplants. The larva is translucent greenish-brown with a dark dorsal stripe and a black head. It feeds on sedges Carex ( Cyperaceae ), and lives in a shelter made from blades folded and sealed with silk. It constructs a new shelter after each moult.
Adult behaviour
Males perch on sedges or flowers, ready to instantly dart up to investigate any passing insect. If a female sonora is encountered she is chased a short distance until she settles. The male then buzzes around her, wafting pheromones over her antennae to arouse her prior to copulation. Both sexes nectar at a wide variety of plants.

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host