least skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Antennae are short. Upperside of forewing is orange
with a wide, diffuse black border at the outer margin; hindwing is yellow-
orange with a wide black margin. Underside of forewing is black with
orange borders at the tip and leading edge; hindwing is yellow-orange.
LIFE HISTORY: Males patrol for females with a low, fluttery flight through
grassy areas. Females lay eggs singly on grass blades. Caterpillars feed
on leaves and rest in nests of rolled or tied leaves. Third- and fourth-
stage caterpillars hibernate.
FLIGHT: Three broods from May-October in most of the range, four
broods from February-December in the Deep South and Texas.
WING SPAN: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Various grasses including marsh millet (Zizaniopsis
miliacea), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), and cultivated rice (Oryza
ADULT FOOD: Flower nectar from low growing plants such as wood sorrel,
swamp verbena, pickerelweed, chickory, and white clover.
HABITAT: Moist or wet open places with tall grasses, marshes, ditches,
slow streams, hillsides, or old fields with tall grasses.
RANGE: Nova Scotia west to southern Saskatchewan; south through the
eastern states to Florida, the Gulf states, Texas, and southeastern
Arizona. Strays to central Colorado.
CONSERVATION: Not usually required.
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