Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2.5-3.8 cm). Overall this skipper is dark brown with some translucent white spots and a distinctive cloudy wash. The underside of the forewing is pointed with a row of translucent whitish spots near the subapical region. The underside of both wings in the center and toward the outer margin has a distinctive cloudy bluish-violet to lavender sheen, especially on the wings of freshly emerged males. The upperside of the wings is dark chocolate brown with several small semitransparent whitish spots in the forewing. The antennae are relatively long.

Egg: The eggs are laid singly on leaves of the host plant.

Caterpillar: The caterpillar is greenish-white with a mid-dorsal dark stripe and two white lateral stripes. The head is white with a black margin and three vertical black stripes on the facial region. The body is covered with numerous minute white dots

Chrysalis: The chrysalis is greenish white with its head extended out into a long beak and tongue case..

This skipper flies with a rapid, nervous flight but often stops to perch on low vegetation or leaf litter. Males seeking females may be found perching on low shrubs in dappled sunlit areas near clearings along woodland edges.

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: Autauga, Baldwin, Bibb, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers , Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox, Winston

  • 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
8 3 26 37 16 28 19 18 12 3 8 19 26 10 15 18 22 16 48 32 107 131 77 88 364 234 121 95 50 23 5 2 1

Habitat

The Clouded Skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats, including suburban gardens. It is most common in open spaces near the edge of woodlands and in open areas near streams and swampy wetlands.

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, we have found eggs and caterpillars of the Clouded Skipper on River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) and cane (Arundenaria spp.).

In other states, caterpillars are reported to feed on various species of grasses including St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), Johnson Grass (Sorghum halapense), bluestems (Andropogon sp.), Silver Plumegrass (Erianthus alopecuroides), Common Panic Grass (Panicum capillare), and Indian Corn (Zea mays).

The Clouded Skipper nectars from a variety of wildflowers.

 

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

Landscaping Ideas

Plant River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) to help bring Clouded Skippers into your landscape. It is an adaptable plant that can thrive in both sunny and shady gardens.

Provide a variety of garden worthy, nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies like the Clouded Skipper. These include: Butterfly Milkweed and other milkweeds; Purple Coneflower and other coneflowers; black eyed susans; phloxes; mountain mints; Common Buttonbush; Joe Pye weeds; gayfeathers/blazing stars; Mistflower; ironweeds; asters; and goldenrods.