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Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion)

Family: Skippers (Hesperiidae)

Subfamily: Spread-wing Skippers (Pyrginae)

Identification: Wings are brown-black; hindwing has iridescent blue streaks both above and below.

Life history: Flight is fast and powerful. Males perch to seek females, who deposit eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in shelters of silked-together leaves.

Flight: November-August in southern Florida.

Wing span: 1 7/8 - 2 3/4 inches (4.8 - 7 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: American mangrove (Rhizophora mangle).

Adult food: Nectar including that of mangrove, shepherd\'s needle, citrus, and bougainvillaea flowers.

Habitat: Coastal mangrove thickets and openings.

Range: Both coasts of peninsular Florida and the Keys south through the West Indies and Mexico to Argentina. Strayed to coastal South Carolina.

Conservation: Not usually required.

NatureServe Global Status: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.