Juba Skipper

Hesperia juba

Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae

© Peter J. Bryant.
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Characteristics: Ventral hindwing with rather heavy silvery-white markings (more so than the other Hesperia species occurring in the county). Background color of ventral hindwing greenish-orange. Dorsal wing golden with brown markings. Forewing length: 14-16 mm.

Similar Species: Very similar to the other two species of Hesperia occurring in the county.

Habitats, Behavior: A rapid flier, like all Hesperia. Nectars on thistle (Cirsium sp.) in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Distribution: Recently captured near Santiago Peak in the Santa Ana Mountains. The butterfly may be more widespread than the following sparse records indicate.

Flight Period: Emmel and Emmel (1973) indicate two broods, flying first from April to June and again from August to September. Our records fall between these time periods.

Larval Foodplants: Unidentified species of grasses.

Other Remarks: Although others and I have collected the higher elevations of the Santa Ana Mountains during the last four years, it was only in 1976 that juba was taken in Orange County (by Dr. Jack Levy). The distributions and abundance of the three species of Hesperia within Orange County is poorly known and needs to be clarified by additional field work. Year to year fluctuations in population may also complicate matters. Generally, little is known about skipper biology and behavior because most lepidopterists prefer to study true butterflies.

From Orsak, L. J. (1977). The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Center for Pathobiology Miscellaneous Publication #3. University of California Press, New York. 349pp.