|scientific name Amblyscirtes vialis |
common name Roadside Skipper
Found in grassy clearings and along the edges of poplar forest.
There is one brood annually, with peak flight activity in early to mid June.
The combination of the small size (22 - 25mm wingspan), dark brown colour with a frosted gray hindwing underside, and pale subapical forewing spots will serve to distinguish this species from other skippers in the province.
The eggs are round and creamy white (Bird et al. 1995). The larvae are pale green with paler green dots, and are covered with short downy hairs and a waxy secretion; the head is dull white with vertical reddish stripes (McCabe & Post 1977). Males establish territories in which they perch, and fly out to investigate other butterflies (Acorn 1993).
Not of concern.
The larval host plant in Alberta is not known, although broad-leaf grasses are likely. Elsewhere, larvae feed on Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), bent grass (Agrostis spp.), and Spikegrass (Uniola latifolia) (Layberry et al. 1998). Eggs are laid on Beardgrass (Andropogon sp.) and bluegrass (Poa sp.) in Michigan (Nielsen 1999). Adults nectar at a variety of flowers and sip moisture at damp soil (Nielsen 1999).
The Roadside Skipper has a transcontinental distribution, found from coast to coast, north to Ft. Smith, NWT and south to Texas and Florida (Layberry et al. 1998, Opler 1999). In Alberta it occurs in the boreal and parkland regions, but is restricted to riparian habitats in the prairie region (Bird et al. 1995).
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