Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 - 1 11/16 inches (2.5 - 4.3 cm).
Identification: Wings are bright yellow-orange. Upperside has black borders and black veins near the margins; forewing has a black bar at the end of the cell. Females have wider borders and darker markings than males. Underside has no markings but may have darker orange veins.
Life history: Males perch within 1 1/2 feet of the ground in open, grassy areas or along streams to await receptive females. Females deposit eggs singly on host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves and use them to make nests.
Flight: One brood from July-August in the north; two broods from May-September in the south; several broods from February-October in Florida.
Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and wooly beard grass (Erianthus divaricatus).
Adult food: Nectar from pink and white flowers including swamp and common milkweeds, shrub houstonia, mountain mint, marsh fleabane, sweet pepperbush, buttonbush, thistles, and pickerelweed.
Habitat: Moist areas including marshes, prairies, fields, roadsides, suburban yards.
Range: Southern Maine west across the Great Lakes states and southern Canada to central Montana; south to Florida, the Gulf states, Texas, northeastern New Mexico, and the Mexican highlands to El Salvador.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.