Dun skipper

(Euphyes vestris)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Dun skipper

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common to abundant, and widespread

Flight/Season

One generation: Late June to late August.

Habitat

Moist areas near deciduous woods

Size

Wingspan: 1 to 1

 

Identification

This is a small, dark, nondescript grass skipper. It has a wingspan of 1 to 1.

The male is dark blackish-brown all over. There is a black stigma on the forewing that appears as a dark diagonal band but no other markings.

The female has small two pale spots on the upper side of the forewing that are even smaller on the underside. The underside of the hindwing may also have a faint spot band.

The antennae are short and faintly striped. Each antenna has a black swelling (club) at the tip, and a pale, thin, hooked extension (apiculus) at the end of the club.

The caterpillar is pale green, slender, and up to 1 long. The head is burnt cienna with a central black spot, a horseshoe-shaped white mark partially surrounding the black spot, and a pair of white lines running from the back of the head to the eyes. The thorax and abdomen are pale green with a slightly darker middorsal line and sometimes darker middorsal and subdorsal pinstrip lines. The breathing pore (spiracle) on the eighth abdominal segment is conspicuously enlarged. On the rear (posterior) half of abdominal segments 1 through 8 there are seven shallow ring-like creases (annulations). The preceding description could easily be made for all other Euphyes caterpillars. Identification is best made by rearing them into adults.

Mature caterpillars are seen from late summer to late fall and early spring.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Sedges and possibly some grasses

 
Adult Food

Nectar of white, pink, and purple flowers

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 21, 27, 29, 30, 71.

 


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Hesperioidea (skippers)

 

Family:

Hesperiidae (skippers)

 

Subfamily:

Hesperiinae (grass skippers)

 

Tribe:

Hesperiini

 
Subordinate Taxa

Dun skipper (Euphyes vestris harbisoni)

Dun skipper (Euphyes vestris kiowah)

Dun skipper (Euphyes vestris metacomet)

Dun skipper (Euphyes vestris vestris)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Dun skipper


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

apiculus

A thin hooked or pointed extension at the ends of each antennae just beyond the club of all skippers except skipperlings (subfamily Heteropterinae).

 

spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

stigma

In plants, the portion of the female part of the flower that is receptive to pollen. In Lepidoptera, an area of specialized scent scales on the forewing of some skippers, hairstreaks, and moths. In Odonata, a thickened, dark or opaque cell near the tip of the wing on the leading edge.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this insect.

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  Dun skipper    
       
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)
Bill Keim
 
   
     
  Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
   
     
  Dun Skipper
Jon Dombrowski
 
   

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this insect.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Prairie Life: Dun Skipper
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 2, 2015

This short film introduces the Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris), a common, small brown Hesperiid butterfly. Filmed at the Rydell NWR, Erskine, Minnesota (29 July 2015).

 
     
  Finding Dun Skipper Pupal Nests
Todd Stout
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 6, 2010

Just as sedge-feeding skippers of the genus Euphyes construct unique nests; they also pupate in these nests and seal off the entrance with a silken plug as demonstrated with the dun skipper (Euphyes vestris metacomet) in this video.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this insect.

     
     
 

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings

   


 

 

Binoculars

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2017 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.