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Long-Tailed Skipper 
Latin Name: Urbanus proteus
 
Genus: Urbanus    Species: proteus 
Family
Latin Name: Hesperiidae
Common Name: Skippers
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Family Members
 
SubFamily
Latin Name: Pyrginae
Common Name: Spread-Wing Skippers
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SubFamily Members

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Comments:
The Long-tailed Skipper is one of the most common and distinctive skippers in Florida and resembles a small swallowtail. Adults have a quick, low flight. They are fond of flowers and often abundant in home gardens. The larvae construct individual shelters on the host by folding over small sections of a leaf with silk. Older larvae may use the entire leaf or connect several leaves together. The butterfly is migratory, and moves southward each fall to overwinter in warmer portions of the state.
   
Life Cycle:
Broods:
multiple generations
Egg:
pale yellow, laid singly on the underside of host leaves
Larva:
yellow-green with a dark dorsal stripe, yellow lateral stripe and crimson head; body is covered with tiny black spots
Host Plants:
a wide variety of legumes including beggarweeds, wisteria and Kudzu
   
Host Plants:
Host Plants:
a wide variety of legumes including beggarweeds, wisteria and Kudzu
   
Habitat:
Habitat:
open, disturbed sites including roadsides, old fields, fallow agricultural land, utility easements, forest edges and gardens
   
     
     
   
Wingspan:
Inches:
1.5 - 2
Centimeters:
3.8 - 5.1
   
Appearance:
Sexes:
similar
Compare:
Dorantes Skipper is very similar in size and appearance but lacks iridescent blue-green dorsal coloration.
   
     
     
Markings:
 

Above:

  • brown with iridescent blue-green scaling on wing bases and body; long hindwing tail; forewing has several semitransparent spots  
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Below:

  • brown; hindwing has two crisp dark brown bands  
 
Florida Distribution:
Abundance:
common to abundant
   

 

     

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Map Legend: Resident (green) | Stray (Red)


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