North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Delaware

Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok)
JPG -- species photo

Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok [Harris])

Wing span: 1 - 1 11/16 inches (2.5 - 4.3 cm).

Identification: Wings are rounded. Upperside of male is yellow-orange with irregular black borders and no stigma; underside of hindwing has purple-gray on the inner margin. Female has 2 forms: Upperside of normal form is duller and has less orange than the male; underside of hindwing is orange with purple-gray at the inner margin. Upperside of "pocahontas" form is purple-black with some dull white spots on the forewing; underside is purple-black with the pattern obscured.

Life history: To await receptive females, males perch about 6 feet above ground on vegetation in woodland clearings. Females deposit eggs singly on or near the host grass leaves, which are eaten by the caterpillars.

Flight: One brood from April-July.

Caterpillar hosts: Various grasses including panic grasses (Panicum) and bluegrasses (Poa).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including common milkweed, henbit, viper's bugloss, and blackberry.

Habitat: Openings and edges of damp woods, edges of bogs, light gaps along streams, city parks.

Range: Nova Scotia west across southern Canada to central Alberta; south to New Jersey, northern Georgia, Arkansas, central Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma. An isolated population ranges from central Colorado to northern New Mexico.

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:

Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 

     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 

     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.


Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.

     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     

Shapiro, A.M. 1966.  Butterflies of the Delaware Valley.  American Entomological

     Society Special Publication.  Philadelphia, PA.  79 pp. 

Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc.,

     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 

     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers


Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok)
distribution map
map legend

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