Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.86-3.5 cm). Upperside is dark brown; forewing with pale spots. Underside is light  rust-brown; with yellow veins and other pale markings;  hindwing has a yellow streak in the cell and a submarginal row of small yellow spots. The wing frings are light and not checkered like most of the other species of Amblyscirtes.    

Egg: Pale white eggs laid singly on host.

Caterpillar: Caterpillars eat leaves of switch cane (Arundinaria tecta) and make shelters of rolled leaves. Mature caterpillars detach shelter from plant so that it falls to the ground.  They overwinter in this shelter. 

Chrysalis: Unknown. Pupation occurrs in tightly rolled leaf of host plant, which often hangs barely attached to host plant.

In Alabama, the only documented records of this little known species are from DeKalb County, in the northeasern part of the state, and Baldwin County in extreme southwestern Alabama.

Elsewhere the species is disjunctly  distributed  from southeast Virginia south to northern Georgia; also in southern Illinois.wtih populations  in southern Mississippi. This species is uncommon throughout its range. Its dark hindwing base color pattern with light spots  is considered the reverse of that of the Carolina Road-Side Skipper, a species that does not occur in Alabama.

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: DeKalb

  • 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
2 2 1


Sunny open areas near wet areas with pinetrees, roadsides with seepage near switch cane,  flatwoods, ditches and edges of boggy wetlands and swamps.

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, a caterpillar has been found on cane (Arundinaria spp.).

In nearby states, the reported host plant is Switch Cane (Arundinaria tecta). 

For more information about the documented host plants and/or nectar plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the following links:

Landscaping Ideas