European skipper

(Thymelicus lineola)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

European skipper

NatureServe

NNA - Not applicable

SNA - Not applicable

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common. Locally abundant.

Flight/Season

One brood. Early June to mid-July

Habitat

Open, dry, grassy areas. Meadows, pastures, forest openings, parks, roadsides, railways.

Size

Wingspan: ¾ to 1

 

Identification

This is a small grass skipper with a wingspan of ¾ to 1.

The upperside of the both wings is mostly bright, brassy orange. There is a thin black margin at the tip and a very thin black margin at the upper edge. The veins are slightly darkened near the margin. There is no black cell end bar. There is a very thin black stigma on forewing of the male. There is usually a thin vertical black line at the end of the forewing cell of the female. The wings are otherwise unmarked.

The underside of the forewing is orange, that of the hindwing is grayish-brown. The underside of both wings has a powdery, whitish tint. The wingtips are rounded, not pointed.

The antennae are short, barred, reddish, and blunt-tipped.

The caterpillar is green, slender, and up to 1 long. The head is pale green with a central, inverted Y shaped stripe, and two wide, vertical, white stripes. The white stripes are sometimes bordered by narrower, black stripes. There is no constricted section (“neck”) between the head and the first thoracic segment. There is a narrow, green, vertical stripe on the middle of the upper (dorsal) surface extending from the second thoracic segment across all abdominal segments. On each side of this middorsal stripe is a pale greenish-white stripe. There is also a whitish subdorsal stripe and a whitish lateral stripe. There is a white wax gland along the bottom of each side of abdominal sections 7 and 8. The thorax and abdomen are moderately covered with white hairs and sparsely covered with contrasting rust-colored hairs. Mature caterpillars are seen in early spring.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Timothy (Phleum pratense), orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata ssp. glomerata), quackgrass (Elymus repens), rice cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), and bluegrass (Poa spp.).

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar

 
Life Cycle

The females lay a row of up to 30 eggs on a host plant. The eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring

 
Behavior

Like all skippers, they have a rapid, darting flight.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 30, 71, 75.

Map updated 7/6/2017

This species was introduced into Ontario in 1910, and has been spreading about 20 miles per year. If the map at left was not updated in the last two years, then it is already out of date.


Comments

Absent or Abundant
Where found, this species is often explosively abundant.


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)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

Essex skipper (Europe)

European skipper (United States)


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

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

   
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Bill Reynolds


  European skipper    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Upper Side

  European skipper   European skipper
       
  European skipper   European skipper
       
  European skipper    
       

Underside

  European skipper   European skipper
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  European Skipper
DianesDigitals
 
  European Skipper  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

 
     
  European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)  
     
  Thymelicus lineola (European Skipper)
Allen Chartier
 
  Thymelicus lineola (European Skipper)  
     
  The European Skipper Butterfly
I Love Insects
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 2, 2014

This video shows a number of high res pictures of the European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) butterfly. It is a butterfly and not a moth as stated in the video.

More info on this species can be found here: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Thymelicus-lineola

 
     

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  A Mating pair of Essex Skippers Butterflies Thymelicus lineola
Disclose.tv1
 
   
 
About

Published on Mar 7, 2014

Disclose.tv presents

 
     
  Essex Skipper male
Roger Wilmshurst
 
   
 
About

Published on Dec 26, 2013

No description available.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
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Bill Reynolds
7/17/2004

 

 

European skipper


     
     
 

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