Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Taxiles Skipper
Poanes taxiles (W.H. Edwards, 1881)


Family: Hesperiidae
Subfamily: Hesperiinae
Identification: Male narrow black borders; underside of forewing with slightly darkened tip and outer margin; underside of hindwing with darkened base and outer margin. Female: Upperside is dark orange-brown with pale orange patches on the forewing and central hindwing. Underside of hindwing is violet-brown with a pale band of spots and a patch of gray scales near the outer margin.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 11/16 inches (3.2 - 4.3 cm).
Life History: Males perch in sunlit openings on leaves about 3-5 feet above the ground. They appear to defend their territory and may keep a perch for as long as a week. Courtship usually occurs in the afternoon. Females lay eggs singly under the host leaves. Caterpillars feed on leaves and make shelters of silk-tied leaves.
Flight: One brood from mid-June to August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses including bluegrass (Poa), wheatgrass (Agropyron), orchardgrass (Dactylis), wildrye (Elymus), and bentgrass (Agrostis).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Woodland openings, stream valleys, forest meadows.
Range: Western South Dakota and north-central Nebraska south through the southern Rocky Mountains and foothills to central Mexico.
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