Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1 - 1¼ inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm). Hayhurst’s Scallopwing is the easiest to identify of all of Alabama’s spread-wing skippers.The wing margins are uniquely scalloped. It is a relatively small dark skipper.The upperwing surfaces are dark brownish-black and interspersed with tiny white flecks.  Males are darker than females.

Egg: Adult females lay their pale pink eggs singly on the underside of host plant leaves.

Caterpillar: The young caterpillars construct a retreat by folding leaves, tying them together, and lining them with silk. The caterpillars remain within their retreat during the daytime, but come out at night to feed on host plant leaves.The caterpillars are green with numerous tiny white or yellow dots covering the body. A faint white sub-dorsal stripe extends down the body. The head is dark brown to black and lacks the dots found on the body. Partially grown larvae overwinter.

Chrysalis: During the fall months, the mature caterpillars drop to the ground and overwinter in a leaf shelter. Pupation occurs within the shelter in the spring. The chrysalis is pale olive brown with a tinge of rusty-orange on the abdomen. A white, powdery bloom covers the chrysalis.            

Males perch on sunlit leaves on low vegetation near the edges of shaded woods. They perch and nectar with their wings fully spread.

This unique species is rare in Alabama and has been documented at less than five sites, mostly in northeastern Alabama. For several years, it was documented only from the banks of the Cahaba River in Jefferson County.

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 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

Sightings in the following counties: Cullman, Jackson, Jefferson, Marshall

  • Map Symbol for Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Map Symbol for Semi-Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Map Symbol for Old Sightings Sightings more than 10 years ago

High count(s):

  • 2 - Jefferson - 4/19/2007
  • 2 - Jackson - 7/14/2017
  • 1 - Jefferson - 7/4/1999
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
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Hayhurst’s Scallopwing often prefers disturbed areas wherever its weedy host plants grow. This includes moist and shady areas often along streams that flow through wooded areas. However, this skipper may also be encountered in nearby open woods, roadsides and gardens where it nectars.

Host and Nectar Plants

In addition to Lamb's Quarters, in nearby states, larvae have also been observed to occasionally feed on Japanese Chaff Flower (Alternanthera japonica) and Juba's Bush (Iresine diffusa) in the pigweed family (Amaranthaceae).

Lamb's Quarters is the only documented host in Alabama.


For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above.

Hayhurst's Scallopwing
Hayhurst's Scallopwing (Staphylus hayhurstii)
© Sara Bright
Lamb's Quarters

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