Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: ¾ - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 cm.). This is the smallest of the Amblyscirtes skippers. It is often confused with Common and Bell's Roadside Skippers. The wing fringes are checkered with blocks of black and white. Dorsally, males are dark black to brown with a variable number of distinctive white dots. Females are not as well-marked as males. The underside (hindwing) of both sexes is spattered with tiny bluish-gray flecks. The antennal clubs are blunt, without a tapered extension.

ID TIp:  The blunt antennal clubs are diagnostic.

Egg: Pale eggs are laid singly.

Caterpillar: Head is light colored with chestnut brown stripes.  Body is frosted with white. Folds over a part of host leaf or ties blades together to make a shelter.


The Dusky Roadside Skipper is one of the most difficult skippers to locate, even in areas where it is known to have an active population. Its flight is rapid and very close to the ground: it may occassionally be found at flowers. In our area, there are probably three broods.

This secretive skipper is found in disjunct populations from southeast Virginia south to Florida, and west to E. Texas.

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, Bibb, Escambia

  • 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 - Escambia - 4/2/2022
  • 1 - Escambia - 3/13/2018
  • 1 - Baldwin - 3/27/2019
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 2 1


Grassy pine flatwoods, savannas, and sandhills, especially in areas where Wiregrass (Aristida) is found.  Typically associated with longleaf pine habitats.

Dusky Roadside-Skipper
Dusky Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes alternata)
© Sara Bright
Longleaf Pines

Host and Nectar Plants

Bearded Skeleton Grass (Gymnopogon ambiguus) is reported in Florida and has been documented in Alabama.


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

Dusky Roadside-Skipper
Dusky Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes alternata)
© Alan Weakley
Bearded Skeletongrass
Dusky Roadside-Skipper
Dusky Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes alternata)
© Alan Weakley
Bearded Skeletongrass

Landscaping Ideas