True to their name, Nysa Roadside Skippers are commonly seen fluttering along highways and thoroughfares early in the day.
Nysa Roadside Skippers are part of a genus of small butterflies with similar colors and markings. They are active in the cool mornings and can be found resting on the ground, among grass blades, or on plants, taking in the sun before the heat of the day ramps up. Common in the middle southern part of the U.S. and northern Mexico, this species is comfortable in arid environments.
Like other skippers, it holds its forewings up (vertically) and its hindwings out (horizontally), creating a unique profile. The interior part of the forewings has a small cluster of white spots that almost merge into a line, and a single white dot beneath. The underside of the hingwings has a mottled coloring of dark brown, white, and tan that is unique to its species.
Caterpillars feed on blades of various grasses that grow in their region. Two to three broods can be produced each year. As adults, the butterfly drinks nectar from flowers. They are active from spring through autumn. Look for them along the ground or at knee height in flower gardens, on lawns, in dry creek beds, around desert grasslands, and of course, by the side of the road.
Scientific Name: Amblyscirtes nysa
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 30mm (0.74in to 1.17in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.