White-patched Skipper, Chiomara georgina, life history
White-patched Skipper (Chiomara georgina) Life History

Close-up of fresh egg, 9-11-10

Close-up of older eggs, 9-11-10

Eggs were deposited mainly on new growth; photo taken 9-11-10 (3:25 p.m.)

Four hours later, two eggs have eclosed; one caterpillar is visible
in the picture, 9-11-10 (7:25 p.m.)

Arrow points to leaf shelter, 9-12-10

Head is now tan and appears hairy, 9-14-10

Resting under a larger leaf shelter, 9-16-10

Perhaps fourth instar, face now dark brown with white markings, 9-19-10

Late instars have brown face with orange or tan markings, 9-24-10

Fresh chrysalis; note false eyespots are large and bicolor, 9-26-10

Eyes are visible below eyespots as adult nears emergence, 10-2-10

Fresh White-patched Skipper, dorsal, 10-4-10

Fresh White-patched Skipper, ventral, 10-4-10

In September, 2010, I collected several butterfly eggs from Barbados Cherry, Malpighia glabra. These proved to be White-patched Skippers. As can be seen in the pictures, a recently-deposited egg was white, while the color of a developing egg was orange.

I had several caterpillars emerge, but to my dismay some of the larger ones cannibalized the smaller larvae. I ended up raising only three to adulthood. These took about two weeks to mature, and another week to emerge. That is a very short development time compared to many other skippers.

close-up of face, 9-24-10

Brown-banded Skippers (life history: here) also use Barbados Cherry as a host plant; their eggs and larvae are similar in size to those of White-patched Skippers. To identify an egg, look at the yellow stage, preferably with a magnifying glass or magnified picture: if the yellow color appears uniform, then it is White-patched; Brown-banded Skipper eggs are blotchy. First-instars of White-patched are a brighter yellow than those of Brown-banded Skippers; in later instars the head should make identification straightforward. The chrysalis of the White-patched Skipper has large eyespots with white centers, while the eyespots of the Brown-banded Skipper are smaller and brown-centered.

White-patched Skipper Page