New Jersey Butterflies

Little Glassywing

Pompeius verna

Identification: Very small—FW ≥0.6". Sexes similar below. Above: Male: FW and HW both blackish-brown. FW with 3 pale "bracelet" spots near apex and prominent pale or yellowish translucent ("glassy") marks in center of wing. HW unmarked. Female similar, with even more-prominent glassy marks in FW, the largest one squarish. Below: Both wings dark brown, HW with an uneven postmedian crescent of tiny, narrow to round pale spots, and sometimes with a rather isolated pale spot toward the leading edge. Glassy "bracelet" marks show on FW. Other: Both sexes show a white patch on the antenna just below the club. Similar skippers: Dun: Head and upper thorax golden when fresh. Male lacks both FW and HW markings. Female lacks large, squarish, glassy spot on FW above and "bracelet" has only 2 spots. Northern Broken-Dash: Overall color more yellowish-brown, leading edge of FW tawny. Variably prominent markings on HW below in shape of a "3." Male FW above has 2-part stigma with small, elongate orange mark at end; Female FW has diagonal line of yellowish marks.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Widespread and common to abundant.

NJ Range Map-Little Glassywing

Habitat: Almost any open, grassy area. Readily visits gardens.

Flight Period: Late May—mid-August with one brood, peaking in late June in the north, and in early June in the south. Extreme dates: North Jersey: 5/28—8/24; South Jersey: 5/20—10/11.

Larval Food Plants: Purpletop grass (Tridens flavus).

Overwintering Stage: Early-instar larva.

Best Locations: Best Locations: Sourland Mountain Preserve, Troy Meadows, Black River WMA, Thompson Park, Allaire SP, Lakehurst RR tracks.

Comments: White spot below antennal club can be hard to see at some angles. Conversely, one sometimes imagines seeing light bases to the antennal clubs of other similar species!



Little Glasswing

Male, Fosterfields, Morris Co., NJ, 6/18/11.


Little Glasswing

Female, High Point SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/27/04.


Little Glasswing

Swartswood Lake, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/21/07.