Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1½ - 1¾ inches (3.8 to 4.5 cm.). This is a relatively large and dark-colored skipper. The upperside is a flat black with a thin orange streak basally in males. The same wing surface in females has a row of light yellow spots in the mid-wing area.  The ventral wing surface is  tawny orange. The body and head in males has a greenish-brown tint, but the same areas are brown in females.This skipper is often confused with Dion and Dun skippers.

Egg: Pale green eggs are laid singly under host plant leaves (sedges).

Caterpillar: Caterpillars have a light green body and a black head.  They live in a leaf shelter. Caterpillars overwinter as a fourth instar..


This skipper was named in 1923 in honor of W. C. Dukes of Mobile, Alabama, who collected the first specimens on August 6, 1922 in Mobile County.

Dukes' Skipper is very rare throughout its range. It is found in local colonies along the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Florida. There is a large hiatus along the Gulf coastal area of the Florida Panhandle. It then is found in Mobile, Alabama; Louisiana; and Texas northward along the Mississippi River Valley to Illinois and Michigan.

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: Baldwin, Sumter

  • 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 - Baldwin - 10/6/2014
  • 1 - Sumter - 9/8/2018
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


Dukes' Skipper is found in shaded, hardwood swampy areas, generally with Tupelo Gum (Nyssa aquatica). May also be found in shaded, wet roadside ditches where it often nectars.

Host and Nectar Plants

No host plant has been documented in Alabama.

In other states, reported host plants are sedges (Carex spp.) that include Hairy Sedge (Carex lacustris) and Shoreline Sedge (Carex hyalinolepis).


Landscaping Ideas