Ancyloxypha arene

Ancyloxypha arene

Photo Life History: Ancyloxypha arene 

Habitat:  Desert Cienegas; Desert Washes; Desert Lakes of Central and SE Arizona and Texas where host grasses are present.

Host Plants:  Polypogon monspeliensis; Paspalum distichum

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Phalaris arundinacea  Other wide-bladed grasses such as Sorghum halepense may very well work in the lab as well. 

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Nectaring techniques

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Portable Cages; Twin Cup Method  (Females will oviposit on other wide-bladed grasses that are not necessarily their native host grasses.)

How to Find Eggs:  Look on grass blades.  Finding eggs can be difficult if host grasses are too common.

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Skipper Nests.  Click here to watch a video on the habitat, host grasses, and examples of the rolled-leaf nests that A. arene construct.) 

Larva to Pupa:  Skipper larva pupates right in its larval shelter.

How to Find Pupae in the Field: Look for Skipper Nests (Exact same strategy as looking for larvae.)  When removing least tropical skipperling pupae from their nests, do NOT attempt to separate the pupa from its silk.  The connection is so tight that attempt at removal can damage the pupa.  (The same holds true with Ancyloxypha numitor.A. arene adults emerge just fine from their pupae even with their silk is still attached consistent with this photo.) 

Number of Broods per Year:  Multiple

Overwintering Stage: 

Overwintering Strategies:

Post-Hibernation Strategies:

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Relatively easy.  Provide larvae healthy host plant at room temperature.  Exposing larvae to 24 hours of light may not even be necessary.

Disease Prevention:  Change out host plant and remove frass every four to six days.

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:  Jim Brock reports that females from SE Arizona like to oviposit on host grasses growing in water, saturated areas, or even adjacent to rock faces near flowing water.  Males patrol in and around host grasses in search of females who may be emerging and drying off their wings.