Brown-banded Skipper, Timochares ruptifasciata (or ruptifasciatus), life history
Brown-banded Skipper (Timochares ruptifasciata) Life History

Fresh egg left; older, right, 9-22-10

Same eggs, 9-23-10

Recently emerged, 9-25-10

About to molt, 9-28-10

Second instar, head now black, 9-29-10

Third (or fourth?) instar, head now with pattern, 10-3-10

On this caterpillar, the center white pattern, and the black pattern just below it, each resemble an inverted Batman logo. Photo 10-6-10.

A second caterpillar on the same date as above has the white logo, but a green facial pattern, 10-6-10. This caterpillar is pictured in the next 3 photos.

Preceding caterpillar, body shot, 10-6-10


Mature caterpillar, 10-13-10

Chrysalis, 10-14-10

Eyes appear pink, indicating adult will emerge in a day or two, 10-21-10

Fresh Brown-banded Skipper, dorsal, 10-28-10
(from different chrysalis than above)

Fresh Brown-banded Skipper, ventral, 10-28-10

The eggs of this study came from a potted plant. A Brown-banded Skipper found the Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra) sitting on my porch and left four eggs. I was fortunate to find them and get a picture before the last one turned from white to yellow.

The caterpillars emerged on September 25. There seemed to be a significant change of appearance at almost every instar. However, in after the third instar there was one constant: I could swear there was a Batman logo on the head of each caterpillar! The logo style which reminds me of the third instar is below; another is pasted onto the first 10-6-10 photo for comparison. The similarity is remarkable when the caterpillar is viewed with the naked eye.

The first caterpillars pupated about three weeks after they merged from the egg; the last one took about a week longer. Each adult emerged about a week after it pupated.

White-patched Skippers (life history: here) also use Barbados Cherry as a host plant; their eggs and larvae are similar in size to those of Brown-banded 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, as can be seen in the pictures on this page. First-instars of White-patched are a brighter yellow than those of Brown-banded Skippers; in later instars the head should make identification straightforward. Also, the mature Brown-banded Skipper has orange spots in the yellow dorsal body stripes, whereas the orange is lacking in the White-patched Skipper lavae that I have raised. 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.

Brown-banded Skipper Page