Western Branded Skipper
Appearance: Extremely variable; most distinctive below on yellow-brown hindwing is a curved band of bold white spots enclosing a smaller group of basal spots that often resemble the letter “C” although this can be quite variable. Upperside orange with brown borders blending into the orange with variably colored spots.
Size: Small; 7/8 to 1 3/8 inches
Habitat: Open areas, meadows, fields, forest openings and edges, roadsides, trails
Season: Mid-July to late September
Larval Foodplant: Various grasses and sedges
Did You Know…
One of two late summer skippers, this is possibly our most widespread and variable species of this genus, Hesperia, which all show a distinct band of white spots on the hindwing below. To await receptive females, males perch near the host plant or on tops of hills. Females scatter eggs on or near the host plant. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in nests of tied leaves. In the arctic, chrysalids or older caterpillars overwinter; elsewhere eggs overwinter.
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)