Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Indian Skipper
Hesperia sassacus Harris, 1862


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Upperside is yellow-orange with well-defined black markings. Black border of the hindwing is often toothed. Underside of hindwing is yellow-orange with a band of yellow spots that barely contrasts with the background.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/8 inches (3.2 - 3.5 cm).
Life History: Males perch all day to await receptive females. Caterpillars live in silken tubes at the base of grass clumps and leave them to feed. Older caterpillars overwinter and in the spring pupate in a loose cocoon.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius), panic grass (Panicum), and red fescue (Festuca rubra).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including blackberry, henbit, lithospermum, phlox, and viper's bugloss.
Habitat: Old brushy fields, pastures, clearings, headlands.
Range: Maine west across southern Ontario to southeast Manitoba and Minnesota; south to western North Carolina, southern Ohio, and northern Indiana.
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