Tuesday, June 26, 2012


In Ohio, the Least Skipper is aptly named, as it's the smallest of the skipper species in the state. This individual—which I found in on a small milkweed bloom amongst some thick grass at the edge of a marsh near the cottage—probably didn't measure an inch across its opened wingspan. Really a tiny skipper, though like a true jewel, stunning in spite of its size.

Least Skippers (Ancyloxpha numitor) are typically found in the sunny grasses around marshes and fens, swamps, bogs, wet meadows and damp swales, and along the grass borders of ditches, creeks, and ponds. They are weak fliers and seldom fly high, typically a couple of feet above the ground, and often only inches—erratically  wending their fluttering way between the stems—and are thus easily overlooked. 

Members of the grass skipper subfamily, Hesperiinae, Least Skippers often perch with their forewings and hindwings cocked at different angles, reminding me of those fighter jets you see on aircraft carriers sitting with upfolded wings. When their wings are opened, they show a dark-brown margin, which is usually wider in the female. I believe the Least Skipper in the photo is a male. Really a very pretty little butterfly.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Least she may be in size Grizz but certainly not in colour - what a brilliant yellow she is.

Grizz………… said...


It was the color, glowing bright against the grass at my feet, that first caught my eye—and I followed until it stopped on the milkweed and I got my shot. The others came afterwards.