The Silver Spotted Skipper is a butterfly that is from the Hesperiidae family. It is found in Canada and in the United States.
What Does the Silver Spotted Skipper Look Like?
The Silver Spotted Skipper is a brown butterfly with tan markings on its wings.
The butterfly has wings up to 2.6 inches long and their wings are triangular. The wings are a dark brown color and they have orangish yellow patches.
The male has front wings that are more pointed than the female.
The back wings have a large silver patch on them.
The Silver Spotted Skipper is diurnal which means it is most active during the night. They have one set of babies each year in the North and West and two sets in the East and three or 4 in the Southern areas.
The Silver Spotted Skipper has the paper wasp as a predator and ants. Other predators are the sphecid wasps and parasites.
Finding a Mate
The males will find a mate and then later after the female has an egg, she will reject the male.
The male will perch high in weeds and on branches and will dart about the area to attract a female. The female does not do these behaviors.
Where Does the Silver Spotted Skipper Live?
The Silver Spotted Skipper lives in North America such as places like New Mexico and Texas. It is also found in Canada.
The habitat of the Silver Spotted Skipper is in fields, gardens and in the edges of the forests.
What Does the Silver Spotted Skipper Eat?
The Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar eats from beans and other crops, Chinese Wisteria, legumes, kudzu, Dixie Ticktrefoil and more.
The adult Silver Spotted Skipper drinks nectar from different flowering plants but their favorite is white, blue, pink, purple and cream colored. Some of these include red clover, buttonbush and thistles.
Where Does the Silver Spotted Skipper go When it Rains?
The Silver Spotted Skipper goes to rest under a leaf and hangs upside down and holds its wings over its back.
Female Silver Spotted Skipper
The female Silver Spotted Skipper will only lay one egg on the plant it lives by.
Life Cycle of the Silver Spotted Skipper
The Silver Spotted Skipper female lays eggs that are green but have a red top. The caterpillar is yellow with black stripes.
The caterpillar will build up to 5 shelters throughout its life. The first step is the site selection, this is where they walk across the leaves and they leave a single trail of silk. The second step is the silk template, this is where they outline the leaf. The third is the first cut. The first cut is when the caterpillar makes a u-turn motion so that the whole leaf is covered. The fourth step is the second cut and notch, the Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar cuts the leaf in four segments and curves them inwards. The last step is folding and securing and that is when the caterpillar lays silk around the area and makes the leaf fold into a shelter.
This takes about 30 minutes between each cut and fold and up to 2.5 hours to complete the shelter.
The caterpillar will use the pupa to hibernate in the winter.
More Facts About the Silver Spotted Skipper:
- The Silver Spotted Skipper likes to fly in cloudy weather and prefers the shade.
- The Silver Spotted Skipper will lay with its wings crossed so that it can show its silver spot.
- The Silver Spotted Skipper likes to habitat at elevations that are lower.
- The Silver Spotted Skipper does not have pigment in its iris and has a small visual field.
- This species of butterfly is called a nectar thief and it means that they take nectar but do not pollinate.
- This butterfly is known to feed on crops and is considered a bother to farmers.
What Did You Learn?
What is the Silver Spotted Skipper?
The Silver Spotted Skipper is a butterfly that is found in North America and in Canada.
How many steps does it take the Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar to build a shelter?
The Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar goes through five steps to build a shelter.
Can the Silver Spotted Skipper see color?
No. The Silver Spotted Skipper does not see color and has little vision.
What is the biggest predator of the Silver Spotted Skipper?
The Silver Spotted Skippers biggest predator is the wasp.
What shows when the Silver Spotted Skipper hangs upside down and folds its wings?
The silver spot on the Silver Spotted Skipper shows when it hangs upside down.
- Back to -Insects