long dash (Polites mystic)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Upperside is dark brown with reddish to yellowish
orange markings. Forewing of female has a broad black patch at the
base; male forewing has a long, slightly curved stigma which may be
connected to the dash near the apex (creating a "long dash"). Underside
of hindwing is orange-brown with a curved band of equal-sized yellow
LIFE HISTORY: Males perch in low grassy spots, streambeds, or swales
during most of the day; courtship occurs in mid- to late afternoon.
Females deposit eggs singly on or near the host plant. Caterpillars
feed on leaves and live in shelters of tied leaves. Fourth-stage
FLIGHT: One brood from late May to early August.
WING SPAN: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (2.9 - 3.8 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Bluegrasses (Poa species).
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from flowers including common milkweed, selfheal,
mountain laurel, and tick trefoil.
HABITAT: Open, moist areas including meadows, marshes, streamsides,
wood edges, and prairie swales.
RANGE: Southern British Columbia east to Nova Scotia; south to
Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois, West
Virginia, Virginia, and New Jersey.
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