Responses of the common sooty wing skipper to patches of host plants

  • Published source details Capman W.C., Batzli G.O. & Simms L.E. (1990) Responses of the common sooty wing skipper to patches of host plants. Ecology, 71, 1430-1440.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Replant native vegetation

Action Link
Butterfly and Moth Conservation
  1. Replant native vegetation

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 1984 in a field at an ecological research station in Illinois, USA (Capman et al. 1990) found that the patch size of planted host plants did not affect the survival of common sooty wing skipper Pholisora catullus eggs and caterpillars. The survival of common sooty wing skipper eggs and caterpillars was similar in small (7%), medium (2%) and large (5%) patches of its host plant, lamb’s-quarters Chenopodium album. In 1984, in a recently ploughed field, lamb’s-quarters seedlings were planted 30 cm apart in square patches of four (small patch), 16 (medium patch) and 64 (large patch) plants. The centres of patches were 7 m apart. There were 44 small, 11 medium and 10 large patches. The area between patches was mown, and spread with herbicide in July. In August 1984, all skipper eggs were removed from nine small, six medium and five large patches. Three days later, all new eggs in these patches were individually marked (98, 134 and 162 eggs in small, medium and large patches, respectively). The survival of these eggs and their caterpillars was recorded every 3–5 days for one month, while all new eggs were removed.

    (Summarised by: Andew Bladon)

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