Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Common Branded Skipper
Hesperia comma (Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Wings relatively short with rounded forewing tips. A northern form (H. c. laurentina) is dark above and below. Band on hindwing underside usually lustrous, spots separate, basalmost spot often set inward as in H. juba and H. nevada.
Wing Span: 1 1/8- 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.0 cm).
Life History: To await receptive females, males perch near the host plant or on tops of hills. Females scatter eggs on or near the host; caterpillars eat leaves and live in nests of tied leaves. In the arctic, chrysalids or older caterpillars hibernate; elsewhere eggs overwinter.
Flight: One flight from early June to mid-September, probably biennial and Arctic.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses and sedges.
Adult Food: Nectar from many flowers including asters, goldenrods, and blazing star.
Habitat: Sunny open areas including forest openings and edges, meadows, fields, tundra, and the alpine.
Range: Holarctic. In North America from central Alaska east to Labrador; south to northern Rockies, Great Lakes states, and Maine.
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
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