Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) life history
Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) Life History






Fourth instar, recently molted, 7-5-13

Final instar, 7-22-13

Chrysalis; note "seal" face (most likely mimicking a spider), 7-25-13

Fresh adult Fiery Skipper, 8-2-13

Timing is everything. In June, 2013, I found a Fiery Skipper in the yard, ovipositing on Saint Augustine Grass, Stenotaphrum secundatum. Half-way through the study, I had to leave town for a week. I potted up some native grass and put the caterpillar in the grass on the porch. The caterpillar had just entered the fourth instar before I left; to my pleasant surprise, it was still in the pot and in the fifth instar when I returned. So I was able to observe all larval stages despite the interrupted study.

The egg was deposited on June 21; the caterpillar eclosed four days later. Even in summer heat, it took 30 days to pupate, and another week passed before the adult emerged. Skippers are slow-maturing butterflies!

Face of Fiery Skipper

Fiery Skipper Page