Butterfly: Wingspan: 1 - 1½ inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm). Overall this skipper is dark brown with some translucent white spots and a distinctive cloudy wash. The underside of the forewing is pointed with a row of translucent whitish spots near the subapical region. The underside of both wings in the center and toward the outer margin has a distinctive cloudy bluish-violet to lavender sheen, especially on the wings of freshly emerged males. The upperside of the wings is dark chocolate brown with several small semitransparent whitish spots in the forewing. The antennae are relatively long.
Egg: The eggs are laid singly on leaves of the host plant.
Caterpillar: Greenish-white with a mid-dorsal dark stripe and two white lateral stripes. Head white with a black margin and three vertical black stripes on facial region. Body covered with numerous minute white dots
Chrysalis: Greenish-white with head extended out into a long beak and tongue case..
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: Autauga, Baldwin, Bibb, Blount, Bullock, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Choctaw, Clay, Cleburne, Coffee, Colbert, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Dallas, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Geneva, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lee, Limestone, Lowndes, Macon, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Shelby, St. Clair, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, Washington, Wilcox, Winston
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
The Clouded Skipper may be found in a wide-variety of habitats, including suburban gardens. It is most common in open spaces near the edge of woodlands and in open areas near streams and swampy wetlands.
In other states, caterpillars are reported to feed on various species of grasses including St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), Johnson Grass (Sorghum halapense), bluestems (Andropogon sp.), Silver Plumegrass (Erianthus alopecuroides), Common Panic Grass (Panicum capillare), and Indian Corn (Zea mays).
The following grasses have been documented in Alabama but many others are probably used as well. Broad-leaved species seem to be preferred.
For more information about these plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the links above.
Plant River Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) to help bring Clouded Skippers into your landscape. It is an adaptable plant that can thrive in both sunny and shady gardens. Other native broad-leaved grasses can be highly effective, particularly in sunny areas.
Provide a variety of garden worthy, nectar-rich flowers to attract butterflies like the Clouded Skipper. These include: Butterfly Milkweed and other milkweeds; Purple Coneflower and other coneflowers; black eyed susans; phloxes; mountain mints; Common Buttonbush; Joe Pye weeds; gayfeathers/blazing stars; Mistflower; ironweeds; asters; and goldenrods.
Click on individual photos to view a larger version that includes photo credits, county, and date.
Photos with comments are indicated by a small, tan dot on the bottom right.