Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 1 7/16 to 1 3/4 inches (3.6 - 4.5 cm). This is a rather large skipper that prefers wetlands. The field identification markings are seen on the underside of the hindwing: It is bright orange to reddish-orange with two distinctive pale rays extending down the wing's length. The upper pale ray does not extend to the end of the wing. The upperside of the wings are dark brown around the edges, but with pale orange markings in the wing's mid-section.

Egg: The light green egg is deposited on leaves of the host plants.

Caterpillar: The caterpillar has a yellowish-green body with yellow hairs. The head and collar are black.

Chrysalis: The third instar larva pupates and overwinters within a retreat made of rolled up leaves stitched together with silken threads.

Male Dion Skippers can be seen perching or flying through the sedges and rushes of wetlands in search of mating females.

The Dion Skipper is distributed somewhat in a circle from southern New York and Massachusetts, southward along the Atlantic coastline to northern Florida, westward through Alabama and Mississippi to western Louisiana and E. Texas; thence, northward to Minnesota and eastward to northern New York and Ontaria. Interestingly, the central portions of the eastern states are largely lacking this species.

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, Colbert, Greene, Jackson, Marion, Perry, Randolph, Shelby

  • 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
1 1 2 13 18 1 1 2

Habitat

This is a wetland skipper found in bogs, swamps and marshes, and around the edges of these habitats.

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, host plants have not yet been documented.

Elsewhere, the caterpillars are known to feed host plants that include sedges and rushes such as Shoreline Sedge (Carex hyalinolepis), Hairy Sedge (Carex lacustris), and Wool Grass (Scirpus cyperinus).

Dion Skippers nectar from a variety of wetland flowers. 

 

 

 

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