Hesperia uncas lasus

Hesperia uncas lasus

Photo Life History: Hesperica uncas lasus

Habitat:  Canyonlands

Host Plants:  Bouteloua gracilis

Suitable Lab Host Plants: Distichlis spicata; Pennisetum spp. (This and many other spp. of Hesperia are generalists in the lab.  Most any bunch grass works fine.)

Caring for Live Female Butterflies:  Nectaring techniques  (Females can sometimes be collected in good numbers on flowering thistles.)

Methods of Female Oviposition:  Portable Cages.  Females refuse to oviposit on Poa pratensis in the lab; but will oviposit on Distichlis spicataGetting eggs from females is by far the most productive method of rearing this or any hesperine skippers that belong to the genera Hesperia, Polites, Pseudocopaeodes, Atalopedes, and Hylephila.

How to Find Eggs: 

How to Hatch Eggs:  Consolidate eggs into one container.

How to Find Caterpillars in the Field: Extremely difficult as larvae construct nests either at the base of bunch grasses or partially below the surface.  Again the best way to obtain caterpillars is to collect live females and get eggs.

Caterpillar setups:  Open terrarium or potted plant.  (If you dig up most any species of bunch grass from disturbed areas, the chances are larvae will accept them.)

Larva to Pupa:  Last instar caterpillars pupate right in their nests.

How to Find Pupae in the Field: 

Number of Broods per Year:  2

Overwintering Stage: 

Overwintering Strategies:   

Post-Hibernation Strategies:

Avoiding Diapause Techniques:  Provide larvae with healthy host plant and they will not diapause.

Disease Prevention: Not necessary for potted plant technique.  Change out host plant and remove frass every five to seven days using the open terrarium technique. 

Emergence:  Emergence Container

Field Notes:    The key to rearing this skipper is to find females nectaring on thistles.  These skippers fly as singletons or in masses in the San Rafael Swell Region of Utah.  Always search for flowering thistles growing along dirt roads in late May and again in late August or early September to find adults.  Mike and Kim found adults thick in Apache County, Arizona and took this photo.