Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 inches (3.2-3.9 cm). A dark skipper with blackish-brown wing coloration.The undersides of the hindwing is "dusted" with tiny white specks. There is a white dot on the underside and near the base of the hindwing. Three white dots are near the tip of the forewing on the underside.A white line is present over the eye.

Egg: The hemispherical lemon yellow eggs are laid on the leaves of the host plants.

Caterpillar: The caterpillar head is dark reddish purple. The body is pale lavender on the back but turns gray behind the head and along the sides. Long cream colored hairs cover the body. Caterpillars eat leaves of their host plant grasses, and live in tents of silked-together leaves. Fully-grown caterpillars hibernate and pupate in a sealed nest at the base of the host plant.

Chrysalis: Pupation takes place with nest of leaves stitched together with base of host plant. 

Vitaly Charny recently found the first Dusted Skipper specimens reported for the state . These skippers were in a disturbed, reforestation site in Choccolocco Wildlife Management Area. They are expected to be found in other upland long-leaf pine forests, especially burned-over areas.

The Dusted Skipper is distributed from Florida north to central New England, west to southeastern Saaskatchewan and south to northern New Mexico, and east to Georgia. It is largely absent from the coastal plain of the southeastern 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

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Calhoun, Cleburne

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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Habitats include grasslands, prairies, barrens, and old fields. In Alabama, it was found in disturbed, burned-over areas of upland pine forests.

Host and Nectar Plants

 In Alabama, host plants have not yet been documented.

In Florida, Lopsided Indiangrass (Sorghastrum secundum) is used. Elsewhere caterpillars are reported to eat leaves of Little Bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) and Big Bluestem (A. gerardi).

Dusted Skippers nectar from a variety of flowers.


Landscaping Ideas