Butterfly: Wingspan is 7/8 to 1 ¼ inches (2.2-3.2 cm). The underside of the wings is dark brownish-black with numerous tiny whitish flecks. The forewing apex and the outer one-half of the hindwing are violet-gray. The upperside of the wings are black with a cluster of small white spots at the apex of the forewing. Both sexes have a checkered wing fringe.
Egg: Females lay a pale green, hemispherical-shaped egg singly on host plants.
Caterpillar: The caterpillar is pale green and covered with a white powdery bloom. Numerous tiny tubercles, each bearing a flattened hair, cover the body. The head is grayish with a gray facial stripe in the mid-line which is bordered by two vertical dashes. The caterpillars make shelters by rolling leaves together into a tube and tying them with silk.
Chrysalis: The chrysalis is green with a reddish hue at both ends of the body. The caterpillars in the fall brood usually hibernate through the winter to pupate in the following spring.
Males may usually be seen as they perch on dirt roads, boulders, or low growing vegetation in open areas near forest edges as they wait for receptive females to fly by. Common Roadside-Skippers have a unique habit of waving their antennae in a circular motion as they await females.
While the Common Roadside-Skipper is one of the most common and widespread skippers in North America, it is not common in Alabama: its southernmost range only extends into the northeast quadrant of our state.
The Common Roadside-Skipper is found from Nova Scotia and Maine west across southern Canada to British Columbia south to central California to northern Arizona and New Mexico; eastward throughout the plains states to the Atlantic seaboard; south to northern Georgia and Alabama; a couple of records from the panhandle of Florida.
Sightings in the following counties: Bibb, Cleburne, DeKalb, Madison, Shelby
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
Dirt roads, boulders, or low growing vegetation in open areas near forest edges.
In Alabama, no host plants have not yet been documented.
In nearby states, the caterpillars eat the leaves of many grass species including Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon), bluegrasses (Poa spp.), bentgrasses (Agrostis spp.), Common Oats (Avena sativa), and River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium).
The Common Roadside- Skipper is known to nectar on a variety of low-growing flowers.