crossline skipper (Polites origenes)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Upperside is dark brown with orange markings.
Female usually lacks orange along the forewing costa and has a square
spot below the end of the cell; male has a long, straight forewing stigma.
Underside of hindwing is orange-brown with a faint band of spots.
LIFE HISTORY: Males perch in open grassy areas most of the day to await
receptive females. Courtship occurs from midday to mid-afternoon. Third-
and fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate.
FLIGHT: One brood from June-August in the north, two broods from
May-September in the south.
WING SPAN: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (2.9 - 3.8 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Purpletop (Tridens flavus), little bluestem
(Andropogon scoparius), and other grasses.
ADULT FOOD: White, pink, or purple flowers are preferred including
purple vetch, red clover, selfheal, dogbane, shrub houstonia, New Jersey
tea, and New York ironweed.
HABITAT: Open grassy areas including prairies hills, barrens, power
ine cuts, old fields, forest openings.
RANGE: Western North Dakota east across central Minnesota, southern
Ontario, and southern Quebec to central Maine; south to northeast
Texas, the Gulf Coast, and northern Florida. A separate population
(Polites origenes rhena) occurs along the Rocky Mountains from northern
Colorado to northeastern New Mexico.
CONSERVATION: Populations of subspecies rhena, found in patches of all
tall-grass prairies, should be conserved wherever found.
NATURESERVE GLOBAL STATUS: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally,
though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the
MANAGEMENT NEEDS: None reported.
SKY MEADOWS OCCURRENCE:
Note: Due to seasonal conditions in this region, occurrence may vary from
year to year. The designation of occurrence may range over two or more
categories and may vary even during a single season.
Key to Checklist
A Abundant: Easy to see very large numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
C Common: Usually each to see good numbers of individuals in appropriate habitat
at proper time of year.
U Uncommon: Sometimes found in appropriate habitat and proper time of year,
usually in low numbers.
O Occasional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times a year, usually
in low numbers.
R Rare: Small chance of being found, even in appropriate habitat at proper time of
year. There are few individuals and may not be present every year.
X Extirpated: Formerly present, no longer occurs in Sky Meadows Park.
Crooked Run Valley