Long-tailed Skipper – Urbanus proteus

The Long-tailed Skipper butterfly (Urbanus proteus) is a common butterfly in the southeastern US.

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Laying Eggs

Long-tailed Skipper
Laying Eggs

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Eggs Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper Eggs
Laid in stacks

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Eggs Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Eggs Hatching

 Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Egg Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Egg Laid Singly

 Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillars Cutting Leaf Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper
Caterpillars Cutting Leaf

 Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillars Made Nests From Cut Leaf

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillars
Made Nests From Cut Leaf

 Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar Spits Green Fluid When Disturbed

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar
Spits Green Fluid When Disturbed

 Long-tailed Skipper Female Caterpillar

Long-tailed Skipper
Female Caterpillar

 Long-tailed Skipper Male's Orange Gonads

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar
Male’s Orange Gonads

 Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly<br>Caterpillar Upside Down In Nest

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar Upside Down In Nest

 Long-tailed Skipper Red Spots On Head Not Eyes

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar
Red Spots On Head Are Not Eyes

 Long-tailed Skipper In Nest Red Spots Look Like Glowing Eyes

Long-tailed Skipper In Nest
Red Spots Look Like Glowing Eyes

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillars on Wooly Pipevine NOT a Host

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillars
On Wooly Pipevine NOT a Host

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar Often Turns Orange Before Pupating

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar
Often Turns Orange Before Pupating

Long-tailed Skipper Caterpillar Producing Waxy Coating Before Pupating

Long-tailed Skipper Producing
Waxy Coating Before Pupating

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Fresh Soft Chrysalis Pupa

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Soft Chrysalis Pupa

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Dried Chrysalis Pupa With Waxy Coating

Long-tailed Skipper
Dried Chrysalis With Waxy Coating

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Tails Often Break Off

Long-tailed Skipper
Butterfly’s Tails Often Break

Long-tailed Skipper Butterflies Nectaring From Blazing Star

Long-tailed Skipper Butterflies
Nectaring From Blazing Star

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Nectaring From Sunflower

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Nectaring From Sunflower

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly Nectaring From False Foxglove

Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly
Nectaring From False Foxglove

This species flies in most of the eastern United States as well as the extreme southern edge of western United States. (It is also found in Mexico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.)

Host plants include bean plants, pea plants, beggar weeds, hog peanuts, and wisteria.

Eggs are often laid in stacks underneath leaves.

This species is known for laying eggs on Woolly Pipevine, which is not a host plant. Caterpillars hatch, cut the leaf and make a tiny nest, but eventually die after a few days.

When disturbed, caterpillars spit a bright green fluid.

Caterpillar make a nest out of a leaf or leaves and spend their time in the nest when they are not eating. These are frass (poop) flinging caterpillars. The fling their frass away from their nests.

Older caterpillars may use several leaves to create a nest and/or may make a nest of leaves of a plant that is next to their host plant instead of on the host plant itself.

Red marks on their heads resemble eyes. When inside a nest, if light enters the end of the nest, it looks as if an animal with glowing eyes is waiting inside the nest.

Gonads are visible through the skin/cuticle of older caterpillars. This is one species that you can tell whether a caterpillar is a male or female. The gonads are seen 2/3 of the way down their bodies.

Before a caterpillar pupates, it often turns orange. It goes into its nest of leaves and produces a waxy coating and pupates into a chrysalis in the nest itself.

Male adult butterflies often perch in a spot overlooking an area he considers his territory. He will fly at almost anything that moves in that area. If it is a female Long-tailed Skipper, he will try to pair with her. If it is anything else, he will try to chase it away. If one hits you, it wasn’t because it didn’t see you. It was because he DID see you.

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