Butterfly: Wingspan: 1½ - 1¾ inches (3.6 - 4.5 cm). This is a rather large skipper that prefers wetlands. The field identification markings are seen on the underside of the hindwing: It is bright orange to reddish-orange with two distinctive pale rays extending down the wing's length. The upper pale ray does not extend to the end of the wing. The upperside of the wings are dark brown around the edges, but with pale orange markings in the wing's mid-section.
Egg: The light green egg is deposited on leaves of the host plants.
Caterpillar: The caterpillar has a yellowish-green body with yellow hairs. The head and collar are black.
Chrysalis: The third instar larva pupates and overwinters within a retreat made of rolled up leaves stitched together with silken threads.
Male Dion Skippers can be seen perching or flying through the sedges and rushes of wetlands in search of mating females.
The Dion Skipper is distributed somewhat in a circle from southern New York and Massachusetts, southward along the Atlantic coastline to northern Florida, westward through Alabama and Mississippi to western Louisiana and E. Texas; thence, northward to Minnesota and eastward to northern New York and Ontaria. Interestingly, the central portions of the eastern states are largely lacking this species.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Colbert, Elmore, Greene, Jackson, Madison, Marion, Mobile, Perry, Pickens, Randolph, Shelby, Washington
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
This is a wetland skipper found in bogs, swamps and marshes and around the edges of these habitats.
Elsewhere, the caterpillars are known to feed host plants that include Hairy Sedge (Carex lacustris),Shoreline Sedge (Carex hyalinolepsis, and Wool Grass (Scirpus cyperinus).
Shoreline Sedge is documented in Alabama.
For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above.