Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 1 ¾ to 2 1/8 inches (4.5-5.4 cm). This is a very large grass-skipper. The upperside of both wings is brownish-orange with black wing margins.  Males have a distinctive black, two-parted stigma. The leading edge of the forewings may be a coppery-orange color. The underside of both wings is rather homogeneously rusty-brown, but may have some faint pale spots.

Egg: Nothing is known of the eggs of the Palatka Skipper.

Caterpillar: The caterpillars of the skippers in this genus (Euphyes) are distinguished from all other skippers by having a distinctive head coloration: the facial region of the brown head has a white and brown striped pattern. Also in the facial region there is a black oval spot edged with a thin creamy-white line and is located on the upper part of the forehead.  The body of the caterpillar is bluish-green with numerous minute pale green spots covering the entire body. The caterpillar’s body coloration closely matches that of the green sedges upon which it lives. The third or fourth instar caterpillars overwinter in a tube-like nest constructed by tying together several leaf blades.

Chrysalis

Literature sources indicate that males perch in depressions in coastal marshes as they wait for females to fly by and mate with them. Males may also be seen perched in a vertical position with their heads pointed upward as they nectar on flowers or rest on sawgrass.

The Palatka Skipper is distributed along the Atlantic coastline from Virginia to the Florida Keys; thence, around the tip of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico coastline to Mississippi..

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

  • 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
1 2 13 2 10

Habitat

This species lives in the immediate vicinity of sawgrass sedge wetlands along the southeastern U. S. coastlines. Therefore, it is limited in Alabama to Baldwin and Mobile counties along Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Host and Nectar Plants

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

Elsewhere, the host plant described for the Palatka Skipper is Sawgrass Sedge (Cladium jamaicense), a plant that is most often associated with brackish coastal wetlands, although it is occasionally found in some freshwater marshes.

The Palatka Skipper is known to nectar on the blossoms of wetland plants.

 

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