Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Least Skipper
Ancyloxypha numitor (Fabricius, 1793)


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: 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.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).
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.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including marsh millet (Zizaniopsis miliacea), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), and cultivated rice (Oryza sativa).
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.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL