Brazilian Skipper Calpodes ethlius

A huge grass skipper. Which doesn't use a grass for its foodplant. Sometimes I wonder about these scientists. The caterpillar food plant is the Canna or Thalia. Previously felt to be just a vagrant in Arkansas, Norm Lavers discovered a Thalia stand in northeast Arkansas where they almost certainly were breeding repetitively. Unfortunately, this stand has now been destroyed for highway expansion. I am convinced that the one that showed up in my wife's Cannas in central Arkansas did some egglaying but I cannot prove it. There is a rich and expanding stand of Thalia in the Red Slough WMA in SE Oklahoma. So far no Brazilians seen there but it is just a matter of time I think.

This individual showed up on a cloudy afternoon in the Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs. These animals are twice the size of most other skippers (think Silver-spotted Skipper sized). The red-brown tinge must be variable. This is the richest one I have seen. And certainly that white spot row is not always as bright. Kenny Nichols snapped this one as I was without camera at the time.