Desert Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus philetas) life history
Desert Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus philetas) Life History

Egg, 3-8-14

Recently emerged, 3-15-14

First instar, 3-17-14

Second instar, 3-23-14

Third instar, 4-1-14

Fourth instar, 4-9-14

Final instar, 4-16-14

Pupa, 4-24-14

Fresh adult Desert Checkered-Skipper, ventrum, 5-2-14

Fresh adult Desert Checkered-Skipper, dorsum, 5-2-14

I have seen Desert Checkered-Skippers ovipositing on Spreading Sida, Sida abutifolia, several times. In March of 2014, I had the opportunity to catch a female. I placed Sida in the container with her and a day later (March 8) I had several eggs.

The caterpillars emerged one week later. The early instars made nests of a single leaf; older caterpillars tied steams and leaves together as a shelter. They matured slowly, taking over a month to pupate. The adults emerged about a week after pupation began.

Common Checkered-Skippers also will occasionally use Spreading Sida. The larvae are very similar. One characteristic that may be used to distinguish last inastars is the collar. Both species have brown collars behind the head. On the Desert-Checkered Skippers that I raised, at the middle of the neck there was a white stripe crossing the collar (see the 4-16-14 photo to the right). I have not seen such a stripe on Common Checkered-Skippers.


Face of Desert Checkered-Skipper

Desert Checkered-Skipper Page