Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Sierra Skipper
Hesperia miriamae MacNeill, 1959


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Live individuals have a blue sheen above and below. Upperside is yellow-orange. Forewing has a diffuse dark border and large pale spots near the tip. Underside is gray with yellow-orange at the base of the forewing and large rectangular white spots on the hindwing.
Wing Span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: To watch for receptive females, males perch on top of hills or ridges all day. Females lay eggs on the host grass. Caterpillars live in silken tubes at the base of grass clumps and feed on grass leaves nearby; then overwinter in partially-buried shelters.
Flight: One brood from July-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Perhaps alpine fescue (Festuca brachyphylla).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Rocky alpine tundra from 11,000-14,000 feet.
Range: The Sierra Nevada from Tuolumne County to Inyo County, California; White Mountains of eastern California and western Nevada.
Conservation: Populations should be monitored and threats, if any, identified.
NCGR: G2 - Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences), or because of other factors demonstrably making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range. (Endangered throughout its range).
Management Needs:
Comments: NULL