Butterfly: Wingspan: 1 to 1½ inches (2.54 - 3.81 cm). The small grass skipper has triangular-shaped, bright golden orange wings on the undersides, with a thin brown margin to the hindwing. The upperside of the wings are mostly orange with black along the margins. A wide black band crosses the lower margin of the forewings..
Egg: The tiny egg is white.
Caterpillar: Bluish-white. Body covered with tiny dark tubercles. Dark crescent near the anal plate. Brown head has dark margin with three dark stripes on face.
Chrysalis: Yellowish with black head, upper thorax, and abdomen. Black stripes acoss upper body. Black veins in wings. Slender.
Delaware Skippers often perch on low grasses, especially near depressions or near water. They are rapid flyers. This adaptable skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats.
The Delaware Skipper is a wide-ranging species, being found from southern Maine, westward across southern Ontario to Montana, and thence southward through the central and plains states to Texas and Mexico and eastward around the Gulf coastal states.
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 High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.
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 email@example.com.
Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, Mobile, Randolph, Washington
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
This adaptable skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats including wet or dry savannas, fields, pond edges, marshes, utility-right-of ways, gardens, dry pine forests, parks, and, brackish and freshwater sawgrass bogs.
In Alabama, the host plants have not yet been identified.
Elsewhere, its larval hosts have been identified as bluestem grasses (Andropogon spp.) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).
This skipper nectars from a variety of flowers.
Provide a variety of garden worthy, nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies like the Delaware 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 Delaware Skippers
Click on individual photos to view a larger version that includes photo credits, county, and date.
Photos with comments are indicated by a small, tan dot on the bottom right.