zabulon skipper (Poanes zabulon)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
FAMILY: Skippers (Hesperiidae)
SUBFAMILY: Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae)
IDENTIFICATION: Male black borders and no stigma. Underside of
hindwing is mostly yellow with a dark brown wingbase and outer
margin. Female: Upperside is purple-brown with pale yellow spots;
underside of hindwing is brown and purple-gray with a white-edged
LIFE HISTORY: Males perch in sunlit openings or edges on leaves about
3-5 feet above the ground. They appear to defend their territory and
may keep a perch for up to a week. Courtship usually occurs in the
afternoon. Females lay eggs singly under the host leaves. Caterpillars
feed on leaves and make shelters of silk-tied leaves.
FLIGHT: Two broods from May-September in the north; several broods
all year in the tropical highlands.
WING SPAN: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.2 cm).
CATERPILLAR HOSTS: Grasses including lovegrass (Eragrostis),
purpletop (Tridens), bluegrass (Poa), wheatgrass (Agropyron),
orchardgrass (Dactylis), wildrye (Elymus), and bentgrass (Agrostis).
ADULT FOOD: Nectar from a variety of flowers including the exotics
Japanese honeysuckle, red clover, everlasting pea, and selfheal; and
the natives blackberry, purple vetch, common milkweed, buttonbush,
joe-pye weed, and thistles.
HABITAT: Brushy openings near moist forests and streams.
RANGE: Massachusetts west through southern Michigan to central
Kansas; south to central Florida, southern Louisiana, and northeast
Texas. Strays to New Mexico, South Dakota, and southern Quebec.
A separate population ranges from central Mexico south to Panama.
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.
Calendar of Events
Sky Meadows Park
Crooked Run Valley