Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan is 7/8 to 1 ¼ inches (2.22-3.2 cm). The underside of the wings is grayish-brown. The forewing has three to five squarish, translucent-whitish spots in the subapical area. This distinguishes this skipper from the similar Swarthy Skipper which lacks such spots.  The hindwing is plain gray brown except in some individuals which have very obscure, faint pale spots forming a sideways “U”. The upperside of the wings is similarly colored as the underside.

Egg: Females lay their pale green eggs singly on or near the host plants.  

Caterpillar: The caterpillar is pale green with a dark green mid-dorsal stripe and light lateral stripes. The head is white, with a rim of brown, with a brown vertical stripe in the middle of the facial region, edged with a broad brown inverted V-shaped mark. The caterpillars construct shelters of rolled leaves tied together with silk strands.

Chrysalis:  The light green chrysalis is elongate and slim. It is equipped with green and yellow stripes along the body and has a frontal horn.

Males may be observed as they perch on low grasses awaiting receptive females.  They have a rapid, erratic flight but stop on a regular basis where they may be easily approached and photographed.

The Eufala Skipper is a resident species in the southern U. S. and extends far southward into Mexico, Central America, and into South America to Patagonia. It is native to coastal Georgia and Florida and west along the southern states to southern California. During favorable years, it extends its summer range northward in the U. S. to Washington, D.C, Michigan, southern Wisconsin, North Dakota and central California.

The Eufala Skipper has only a few documented records in Alabama. It is undoubtedly more common than has been reported.  It likely occurs in all counties in the southern one-half of Alabama.

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, Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Cleburne, DeKalb, Houston, Jefferson, Madison, Mobile, Perry, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa

  • 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 1 3 6 8 1 1 6 5 7 14 5 10 1

Habitat

The Eufala Skipper is found in open, grassy areas including fields, vacant lots, roadsides, edges of pinewoods, suburban lawns and gardens, and utility right-of-ways.

Host and Nectar Plants

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

Elsewhere, the  larvae are reported to eat the leaves of lawn grasses such as Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon), and St. Augustine grass (Stenatophrum secundatum); weedy grasses such as Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense); and Sugar Cane (Saccharum officinarum), Cultivated Rice (Oryza sativa) and Broom Corn/Grain Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor).

 The Eufala Skipper nectars from a large number of flowers.

Landscaping Ideas

Provide a variety of garden worthy, nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies like the Eufala 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.

 

If you have a lawn in your landscape, consider letting it be natural.  The diverse assemblage of native and nonnative flowering plants and grasses typically found in naturalized lawns provides nectar and host sources for many small butterflies including Eufala Skippers.