Finding Caterpillars > Skipper Nests

Larvae of most grass-feeding (hesperine) and spread-wing (pyrgine) skippers make nests by strategically silking together the edges of grass blades or by cutting away portions of a leaf and attaching to the same or another leaf with silken thread strands. With a little practice in the field, coupled with photographs provided within this gallery, these silken thread strands that support these nests can become easily recognizable as compared to moth caterpillar silken nests.

Another difference between skipper larval nests and moth larval nests is that skippers will exit their rolled-up leaf nest in order to launch frass whereas most moth caterpillars do not. In other words, if you find a rolled-up leaf nest with frass inside the nest, it was created by a moth caterpillar; not a skipper caterpillar.