Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Skippers are small- to medium-sized insects, resembling butterflies or moths (they are more closely related to the former). They have hairy bodies that are short, stout, and rather dull-colored, while their wings consist of some pattern of brown, grey, or yellowish orange and black. Skippers have a fast, darting flight, and favor open, sunny areas. The caterpillars of most species feed on grasses or sedges in prairies or wetlands. However, the caterpillars of Epargyreus clarus (Silver-Spotted Skipper), feed on members of the Bean family (including Locust trees), while those of Pholisora catyllus (Common Sootywing) feed on various weedy plants, including Pigweeds, Amaranths, and Lamb's Quarters. Both of these species are larger than the other skippers. There are many species in this family, and they are important visitors to many prairie wildflowers, particularly during the summer or fall.