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Common Checkered Skipper
Photo: Kim Hosen; Merrimac Farm, July 2005    

Common Checkered Skipper
Pyrgus communis
Wing Span: 1 - 1½ inches (2.5-3.8 cm)

Look for these pretty butterflies in gardens, meadows and other open areas from June through October.

Most common in late summer and fall, adults prefer to nectar on white-flowered composites, such as fleabane and asters.

Caterpillars feed on plants in the Mallow family (Malvaceae), such as hollyhocks and hibiscus.

Females lay single eggs on the tops of leaves of host plants (Malvaceae). When the caterpillars emerge, they make a folded leaf nest where they live until they are adults.

Common checkered skippers overwinter as caterpillars. Many may not survive winters north of Virginia.