White Skipper

The northern white-skipper is one of the speediest butterflies.
Known by its scientific name Heliopetes ericetorum, the northern white-skipper is a butterfly of the Hesperiidae family, found throughout much of Southern California, Arizona, Baja California and north-western Mexico, as well as eastern Washington and western Colorado. Its habitat consists of open woodlands, chaparral, dry washes, desert mountains and arid lands.
The white-skipper’s wingspan is one-and-a-quarter inches to one-and-a-half inches. Males have white wings with narrow black chevrons at the outer margins. Females have thicker, darker markings and have black at the wing base. Males are predominantly white in color, with marginal brown “zig-zag” markings. Females sport extensive brown markings on a cream-colored background. The forewing length on these butterflies ranges from seven-twelfths of an inch to three-quarters of an inch. There are at least two broods annually, with adults on wing from April to October.
To find females, males patrol in canyon bottoms. Females deposit eggs singly on young leaves of the host plants. Caterpillars feed on leaves
This butterfly is similar in general appearance, though larger than the Western Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus albescens). The ventral wing patterns of the two species are also distinct from one another.
Larvae feed on the leaves of mallow species, including Sphaeralcea, Althaea and Malva species. They live in shelters of rolled or tied leaves. Adult Large White Skipper butterflies like a variety of flowers for nectar, such as Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), a desert shrub with light green stems and bright yellow flowers. The large white skipper also likes Senecio douglasii flowers.
A fast-flying species, it is often observed flying swiftly down small gullies, fairly low to the ground, occasionally stopping to nectar on sage or mallow blossoms or wild buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) and fremontia (Fremontodendron). .
The butterfly ranges into the desert but most often is spotted in foothills and canyons.

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