Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 2 to 2½ inches (5 - 6.3 cm). This is one of Alabama's largest skippers. It is a little smaller than the Yucca Giant Skipper. From above, it is brown with a broad submarginal band of yellow. Yellow dots occur near the forewing tip. The forewing below is much like that on its upperside. A lilac-grayish frosting is present on the hindwing. This skipper differs from the Yucca Giant Skipper by having a distinctive tuft of long dark hairs near the base of the hindwing when viewed from above.

Egg: The egg is globular, white, and is laid singly on leaves of host.

Caterpillar: A light reddish brown body and head. The head has a dark "neck collar.".Caterpillars burrow into the stem and roots of Yucca and construct a pupal tent, usually within the root system. When adults emerge from the pupal tent either in May or August, they fly about looking for a mate, but during this time, they do not feed. They fly low and rapidly and usually rest a few feet off of the ground on low shrubs or trees.

Chrysalis: The chrysalis forms within a tent-like structure on or near a Yucca plant. It is white in color.


This skipper should be looked for in the northeastern parts of Alabama as it is known only from a single specimen from DeKalb County. It should be looked for in areas where Adams's Neede (Yucca filamentosa) plants are growing, expecially during the months when it emergees from its tent-like enclosures (May and August).

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

  • 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
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
No Sightings recorded at this time.


This skipper is found in habitats where Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa) grows, such as open bottom woodlands, old fields, hardwood hammocks, pine flatwoods, coastal dunes, rock outcrops, etc.

Host and Nectar Plants

No host has been documented in Alabama.

Reported host plants are Adam's Needle (Yucca filamentosa) and the exotic Spanish Bayonet (Yucca alnifolia)