Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Fiery Skipper Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Hylephila phyleus
Description: The caterpillars are variable in coloration but
usually are brown with a darker middorsal stripe and two darker mid-lateral stripes. The head is
Chrysalis: The chrysalis is light beige to yellowish brown
with a dark dorsal stripe and two dark lines of dorsolateral dashes behind the head..
Host Plants: Larvae have been known to feed on
Cynodon dactylon (Bermudagrass), Paspalum sp. (dallisgrass), Stenotaphrum secundatum
(St. Augustinegrass), Digitaria sanguinalis (hairy crabgrass), Agrostis sp. (bentgrass), Eragrostis
hypnoides (teal lovegrass), Poa pratensis (Kentucky bluegrass), Saccharum officinarum
(sugarcane), and Axponopus compressus (broadleaf carpetgrass).
Habitat: Old fields, roadsides, and flower gardens.
Comments: The Fiery Skipper is a common species
throughout the southern U.S. and moves north nearly every year. It probably arrives in Wisconsin
regularly, though it is not usually very common, and should be looked for in the southern half of
the state from late July through the first frost.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy,
while others are smooth. Despite differences between species, though, all caterpillars
share certain morphological features.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.