Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 1 3/8 to 1 5/8 inches (3.5 to 4.2 cm). A medium-sized skipper with overall brownish to orangish yellow body and wing coloration.The forewing is pointed but more so in males. The upper hindwing has a distinctive dot pattern. The forewing fringe is dark, while that in the hindwing is light. The stigma on the forewing has a "black felt"appearance, surrounded by a tawny-orange, yellow, or brown. Much variation exists within this species.

Egg: Pale white eggs are laid singly.

Caterpillar:  The caterpillar lives in silken tubes constructed partially underground at the base of the host plant among the root clumps. The overwintering stage.

Chrysalis: Not described

The Dotted Skipper is a rare and threatened species throughout its range. In Alabama, there has been only a single sighting and this was in Baldwin County near the Gulf. There have been disjunct sightings from coastal New York to Florida, and along coastal Florida panhandle and Gulf states into Texas to Kansas.

 

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

Habitat

The Dotted Skipper seems to prefer dry and sandy soils with poorly vegetated areas, especially the longleaf pine forests and scrub oak regions characteristic of Atlantic and Gulf coastal regions. It prefers dry grassy areas in Texas to Kansas. It is often found in areas that have been burned over.

Host and Nectar Plants

No host plant has been documented in Alabama.

Host plants known from nearby states are: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Fall Witchgrass (Leptoloma cognatum), and wiregrasses (Aristida spp.).

 

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