Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly:  Wingspan 1 to 1 3/8 inches (2.54-3.81 cm). The small grass skipper has triangular-shaped, bright golden orange wings on the undersides, with a thin brown margin to the hindwing. The upperside of the wings are mostly orange with black along the margins. A wide black band crosses the lower margin of the forewings..

Egg: The tiny egg is white.

Caterpillar: The caterpillar is bluish-white and the body is covered with tiny dark tubercles. A dark crescent is present near the anal plate. The white head has a dark margin with three dark stripes on the face.

Chrysalis: The chrysalis is greenish-white with a black head. It is body is slender with the last abdominal segment being black.

Delaware Skippers often perch on low grasses, especially near depressions or near water. They are rapid flyers. This adaptable skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats.

The Delaware Skipper is a wide-ranging species, being found from southern Maine, westward across southern Ontario to Montana, and thence southward through the central and plains states to Texas and Mexico and eastward around the Gulf coastal states.

Distribution and Abundance

A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat.

The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.

The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.

The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to albutterflyatlas@gmail.com.

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Cleburne, Colbert, Jackson, Randolph

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
7 1 2 1 1 3 2 1 1 3 5 7 6

Habitat

This adaptable skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats including wet or dry savannas, fields, pond edges, marshes, utility-right-of ways, gardens, dry pine forests,  parks, and, brackish and freshwater sawgrass bogs.

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, the host plants have not yet been identified.

Elsewhere, its larval hosts have been identified as bluestem grasses (Andropogon spp.) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

This skipper nectars from a variety of flowers.

Landscaping Ideas

Provide a variety of garden worthy, nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies like the Delaware Skipper. These include: Butterfly Milkweed and other milkweeds; Purple Coneflower and other coneflowers; black eyed susans; phloxes; mountain mints; Common Buttonbush; Joe Pye weeds; gayfeathers/blazing stars; Mistflower; ironweeds; asters; and goldenrods.

 

If you have a lawn in your landscape, consider letting it be natural.  The diverse assemblage of native and nonnative flowering plants and grasses typically found in naturalized lawns provides nectar and host sources for many small butterflies including Delaware Skippers