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Zestos Skipper (Epargyreus zestos)

Family: Skippers (Hesperiidae)

Subfamily: Spread-wing Skippers (Pyrginae)

Identification: Upperside is brown-black with a transparent gold stripe across the middle of the forewing. Underside of hindwing is reddish brown and usually has no silver mark.

Life history: Males patrol for females; adults have an erratic flight.

Flight: January-November in south Florida.

Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 3/8 inches (4.5 - 6 cm).

Caterpillar hosts: Galactia in the pea family (Fabaceae).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including Bidens, Lantana, and Bougainvillea.

Habitat: Subtropical coastal scrub.

Range: Southern Florida and the Keys; the West Indies.

Conservation: Not usually required.

NatureServe Global Status: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.