Long-tailed Skipper

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Long-tailed Skipper
Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly (Urbanus proteus) 1.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Urbanus
Species: U. proteus
Binomial name
Urbanus proteus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) is a spread-winged skipper butterfly found throughout tropical and subtropical South America, south to Argentina and north into the southern part of the United States of America. It cannot live in areas with prolonged frost. It is a showy butterfly, with wings of light brown tinted with iridescent blue, and two long tails extending from the hindwings. The robust body is light blue dorsally. It has a large head, prominent eyes, and a wingspan between 4.5 and 6 centimeters.

LongTailedSkipper.jpg
Urbanus proteus.JPG
Pupa
Caterpillar

Life cycle[edit]

It lays white or yellow eggs, singly or in small clusters, which hatch into a caterpillar with a yellowish body and large, dark head. After two to three weeks, the caterpillar forms a pupa. Its pupa is contained in a rolled leaf and covered in fine bluish hairs. The pupa stage may last from one to three weeks, after which the adult emerges.

The caterpillar of this skipper is a common pest of crops, especially beans, in the southern United States. For this reason, it is sometimes called the bean leafroller in that area. The caterpillars are also known to attack ornamental plants in the legume family such as wisteria and butterfly pea. The caterpillars feed on leaves and then roll the leaves around themselves, lining the cavity with silk, to pupate. The adults feed on nectar from flowers.

References[edit]