Amblyscirtes celia life history
Celia's Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes celia) Life History

A fresh egg, 5-25-11

Egg ready to eclose, 5-28-11

Caterpillar of study on day it emerged, 5-27-11

Almost a week old and head still black, 6-2-11

Head now bronze, 6-5-11

Striping starting to appear on face, 6-7-11


Face now in final form, 6-12-11

Side view, 6-14-11

6-17-11, mature caterpillar

Chrysalis, 6-21-11

Pre-emergent chrysalis, 6-30-11

Fresh Celia's Roadside-Skipper, 7-1-11

Celia's Roadside-Skipper is a common yard butterfly whose life history proved uncommonly difficult to obtain. In the two years previous to this study, despite watching carefully for eggs or ovipositing females, I had found only two eggs. Both of the resulting caterpillars died, when half-grown, for no apparent reason. On this occasion, I observed a female ovipositing on St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) near the brick wall of our house. When I examined the blade of grass, there were two eggs. One was showing signs of development, so it had probably been deposited a day or two earlier. A bit of searching yielded three more eggs. Finally, I was in business with Celia's!

It was June 25, 2011, when I saw the female ovipositing. The egg I'm sure she deposited on the 25th eclosed after three days. Unfortunately, that caterpillar did not survive, so the study follows one that emerged one day earlier.

The young caterpillar had a black head for about a week. Then, with each new instar, the head became progressively lighter until the final coloration was achieved.

Face of Celia's roadside-Skipper

The caterpillar retained its black collar throughout its development, unlike the Nysa Roadside-Skipper. It pupated on June 20, 25 days after eclosing. The adult emerged 11 days later on July 1. Assuming the egg took 3 days to eclose, then the entire cycle required 39 days.

Celia's Roadside-Skipper Page