Western Branded Skipper

Hesperia colorado
Grass Skippers

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)