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Santa Barbara Field Guides - Butterflies

     Urbanus proteus
     Long-tailed Skipper


Size: wingspread 1.5-2 in.
Recognition: This beautiful and unique skipper is very dark brown with iridescent turquoise coloring on body and inner parts of wings; HWs with long and distinct tails.
Flight period: Adults may be seen throughout the year in warmer areas.
Hostplants: Larvae feed on various members of the legume family (Fabaceae), on some of which it may become a pest.
Habitat: Found in various, typically disturbed habitats, such as forest edges, agricultural fields, and urban parks.
Distribution: Found in lowland areas of the southeastern U.S., coastal Mexico, occasionally straying northward to our area. It has been definitely recorded in Ventura County, though not yet in Santa Barbara.
Other: This species was among the first butterflies named by Linnaeus, in 1758.

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