Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 2¼ - 2¾ inches (5.7 - 7.1 cm) UPPER SURFACE (dorsal) Brown; golden at wing bases. Head and thorax bright orange. UNDER SURFACE (ventral) Chestnut brown; white frosting on outer edges. Hindwing with variable white markings. Forewings very elongated. Large.


Caterpillar: Green or golden yellow; mottled with dark brown; red stripes on sides. Head reddish-brown with red eyespots. First three pairs of legs (thoracic) reddish with branched spines.

Chrysalis: Dark brown covered with whitish powder. Stout.

Mercurial Skipper is known only from a single specimen photographed by Michelle Miklik. It was documented at Cane Creek Community Garden, a four-acre site in Anniston that was formerly part of Fort McClellan's army weapons training program. In 2015, work began to transition the area into an educational garden run by the Calhoun County Extension Service.  The Mercurial Skipper appeared in June 2017. This surprising skipper appeared just after a significant tropical storm had traversed the state of Alabama. Some experts believe that it could have been blown in ahead of the storm. Normal distribution is tropical to subtropical as it ranges from Cuba, West Indies islands, Mexico, Argentina, southern Texas, southern Arizona, and central Florida. 

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: Calhoun

  • 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):

  • 1 - Calhoun - 6/26/2017
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


Gardens; lowland tropical and subtropical woodlands near streams.

Host and Nectar Plants

Reports from other areas list trees and vine legumes such as sennas (Cassia spp.) and cow peas (Vigna spp.).

No host plant has been documented in Alabama.