tawnyedged skipper (Polites themistocles)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Upperside is dark brown with orange markings;
orange along the costal edge of forewing enters the end of the cell.
Male has a sinuous forewing stigma. Underside of hindwing is brassy
with no markings.
LIFE HISTORY: To await receptive females, males perch all day in
grassy valley bottoms and swales. Females lay eggs singly on or near
the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in shelters of tied
leaves. Chrysalids hibernate.
FLIGHT: One brood from June-July in the north, two broods from April-
September from New York south, several broods throughout the year in
WING SPAN: 7/8 - 1 7/16 inches (2.2 - 3.6 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Panic grasses (Panicum), slender crabgrass
(Digitaria filiformis), and bluegrass (Poa pratensis).
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from flowers including alfalfa, red clover, dogbane,
shrub houstonia, purple coneflower, thistles, and chicory.
HABITAT: Moist grassy areas including prairie swales, pastures, lawns,
roadsides, and vacant lots.
RANGE: Southern British Columbia east across southern Canada to Nova
Scotia; south to northern California, central Arizona, central Texas, the
Gulf states, and central Florida.
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