Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Dusted Skipper
Atrytonopsis hianna (Scudder, 1868)


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Fringes are brown with a few white spots. Upperside is gray-black; male forewing has a tiny stigma. Underside of hindwing is gray with white dusting outwardly and usually at least one white dot at the wing base. Populations on the southern Great Plains (A. h. turneri) are paler gray; those in Florida and along the southern Atlantic coast (A. h. loammi) have white spots on the hindwing undersides.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 11/16 inches (3.2 - 4.3 cm).
Life History: To watch for receptive females, males perch on or near the ground during the daytime. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in tents of silked-together leaves. Fully-grown caterpillars hibernate and pupate in a sealed nest at the base of the host plant.
Flight: One brood from May-June in the north; two broods from March-October in Florida.
Caterpillar Hosts: Little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius) and big bluestem (A. gerardi).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including Japanese honeysuckle, wild strawberry, blackberry, wild hyacinth, phlox, vervain, and red clover.
Habitat: Grasslands, prairies, barrens, and old fields.
Range: Local. Eastern Wyoming, central Colorado, northern New Mexico, and central Texas east to New Hampshire and Massachusetts; south to peninsular Florida and the Gulf Coast.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL