Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Common Name: Fiery Skipper

Genus-Species: Hylephila phyleus

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.