Mexico, USA & Canada
White-centred Bent Skipper
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with
wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the
are among the most distinctive skippers in the Americas, easily
recognised by the large pure white circular patches on their
hindwings, and the cryptic forewings. When the butterflies are
basking they adopt a characteristic posture with the apex angled
There are 2
other species in the genus: albiplaga,
an almost identical species from the Andes; and
dichrous, which lacks the white patches
and occurs in Argentina and southern Brazil.
is found from Mexico to Panama.
This species occurs
in disturbed, open habitats including roadsides and agricultural
land, at altitudes between about 1500-2000m.
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. Generally, Pyrgine
butterflies lay their eggs singly on either the upperside or
underside of leaves. The caterpillars are typically dull green or
brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along the back and sides, and
with black shiny heads. They feed on low growing herbaceous plants,
although a small percentage feed on the leaves of bushes or trees.
The pupae are usually dark and smooth, with the wing cases in a
contrasting tone or colour. They are normally formed within silken
tents formed by spinning together the leaves of the foodplant.
The butterfly is usually
encountered singly, or occasionally in two's or three's, and is only
active in hot sunshine.
fly very rapidly, circling and zig-zagging in a very erratic fashion
just above the surface of the ground. They periodically settle to
imbibe moisture from damp sand, with wings outspread, but after a
moment or two the forewings are drawn partially over the hindwings to
conceal the white patches. This is presumably a case of
flash-colouration, whereby an avian predator chasing after a butterfly
with conspicuous white patches is suddenly left confused as the
butterfly effectively disappears after covering the hindwings.