Appearance: A common late season butterfly, both males and females are distinctive above showing jagged dark borders on tawny orange wings. Above, males show a narrow black stigma (scent patch) and a brown patch while females show two elongate brown patches, both appearing as long narrow diagonal markings on the forewings. Below, yellow-brown with a spotband of yellow or cream square spots on the hindwing.
Size: Small; 3/4 to 1 1/4 inches
Habitat: Moist grassy areas and woodlands in the foothills and montane
Season: Mid-July to early September
Larval Foodplant: Variety of grasses
Did You Know…
Males perch in gullies to await females. First-stage caterpillars overwinter, complete their feeding the next spring, diapause in the summer as fully-grown caterpillars, then pupate and emerge as adults in the fall. A versatile and well-adapted butterfly, this may well be our most common orange-colored skipper late in the summer season.
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)