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:
Nekola, Jeffrey C. 1995. County Distribution Maps of Iowa Butterflies and Skippers. Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI. 30 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.