Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) life history
Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) Life History

Egg, 7-5-10

Caterpillar on first day, 7-8-10


Molting, 7-12-10

Head first shows identifiable pattern, 7-13-10

Head pale immediately after molt, 7-14-10

Head returns to normal coloration, 7-15-10


Mature caterpillar, 7-21-10

Chrysalis, 7-23-10

Fresh adult Clouded Skipper, 7-29-10

Guinea Grass, Panicum maximum, is an unwanted non-native invasive in South Texas that crowds out many native plants. At the same time, it is a very popular hostplant for a number of skippers. As a result, it takes me a long time to uproot plants: I find myself stopping to inspect each one for skipper eggs and larvae.

Some good rains meant plenty of Guinea Grass needed pulling, and I soon had several skippers to raise. This egg turned out to be from a Clouded Skipper. The caterpillar, as is typical, nested in a rolled up grass blade and fed mainly at night. I was fortunate on 7-14 to unroll the blade and find that the caterpillar's head, just after a molt, had not yet regained its normal color. The green would soon darken to brown.

Clouded Skipper caterpillar face

This caterpillar took 15 days to go from egg to pupa. The adult appeared 6 days later. 

Clouded Skipper Page