Southern Skipperling, Copaeodes minimus life history
Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minimus) Life History

Fresh egg, 7-26-10

Pre-emergent, head visible, 7-29-10

Recently emerged caterpillar,  7-30-10

New instar, green head, 8-4-10



Mature caterpillar, 8-21-10

Chrysalis 8-25-10

Fresh Southern Skipperling, 9-1-10

One morning I was with Dan Hardy and another member of Austin Butterfly Forum in a field of Bermuda grass, Cynodon spp. We watched several Southern Skipperlings and soon realized that several were ovipositing. When trying to locate tiny butterfly eggs in a field of grass, it is a great help to have several sets of eyes on a skipper! As we followed one particular female around, a pattern became apparent. After she had deposited an egg on the underside of a blade of grass, she would then fly a little ways and rest. A few moments later, she would spread her wings to catch the sun. Then she would fly off to lay another egg. The wing-spreading always preceded egg-laying.

Four of the eggs we gathered were viable, and I was able to raise two caterpillars to adulthood. The eggs took only 4 days to eclose. The caterpillars changed very little throughout the various instars. The featured caterpillar pupated on August 25 (27 days after eclosing) and the adult emerged on September 1, which was 35 days after the egg was deposited. The other caterpillar took four days longer to pupate and emerge.

Southern Skipperling Page