|scientific name Anatrytone logan |
common name Delaware Skipper
Shrubby ravines, valley bottoms and coulees of the short-grass prairies.
One brood annually, with most adults appearing early to mid July.
The only other skipper to share the unmarked, bright orange upperside with a narrow dark border and unmarked under side is the European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola). The Delaware Skipper is, however, larger (25 - 35 mm wingspan) and has a more pointed forewing shape. Alberta populations are assigned to subspecies lagus (Layberry et al. 1998).
The eggs are hemispherical with two reddish rings, and are laid on blades of grass (Bird et al. 1995). The bluish-white larva is covered with minute black bumps, with a black band near the posterior end (Layberry et al. 1998). Adult males perch on shrubs such as buckbrush (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) (McCabe & Post 1977). In North Dakota, females of the nominate subspecies fly among clumps of big bluestem and lay four to five eggs per grass clump (McCabe & Post 1977).
Currently secure; Habitat susceptible to flooding due to dam construction.
The larval hostplants in Alberta are not known. In other parts of its range, larvae feed on wooly beardgrass (Erianthus sp.), panic grass (Panicum spp.) big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) and little bluestem (Schizachyrium spp.) (Bird et al. 1995, Layberry et al. 1998). Adults nectar at thistles (Cirsium spp.), milkweed (Asclepias spp.) and skeleton-weed (Lygodesmia spp.) (Bird et al. 1995), and sip moisture at mud (Nielsen 1999).
The Delaware Skipper is found throughout the eastern United States, and reaches its northern range limits in southern Ontario and the southern prairie provinces (Layberry et al. 1998, Opler 1999). In Alberta it is known from the major river valleys in the prairie ecoregion, north as far as the Drumheller area (Bird et al. 1995).
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