New Jersey Butterflies

Long Dash

Polites mystic

Identification: Very small (forewing ~0.6"). Above: Male FW has long, dark diagonal line, pinched in the middle, surrounded by orange. Male HW has central orange patch that is surrounded by dark borders, crossed by a vague dark band, and with dark veins. Female above is similar to male but smaller amounts of orange make it appear darker. Below: HW yellowish-brown with a broad, smoothly curved yellow spotband paralleling the trailing edge, and an inner yellow spot. Female pattern is similar but base color is darker, making yellow markings more prominent. Similar skippers: On Indian Skipper the yellow spotband on the HW below is not smoothly curved—the central spot projects rearward.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Uncommon and local in northern counties south to Hunterdon and probably northern Somerset. Apparently absent from the Coastal Plain.

NJ Range Map-Long Dash

Habitat: Grassy marshes and meadows.

Flight Period: One brood, late-May—late-June. Extreme dates: 5/22—7/08.

Larval Food Plants: Bluegrasses (Poa spp.).

Overwintering Stage: Middle-instar larva.

Best Locations: Schooley's Mountain CP, Willowwood Arboretum, White Lake NRA, Arctic Meadows Preserve, wetlands in High Point SP.

Comments: Seems to be getting harder to find—populations may be declining.



Long Dash

Male, Ogdensburg Borough, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/12/11.


Long Dash

Female, Schooley's Mountain CP, Morris Co., NJ, 6/4/11, on Blue Flag Iris.


Long Dash

Male, Schooley's Mountain CP, Morris Co., NJ, 6/5/11, on Canada Thistle.


Long Dash

Female, Schooley's Mountain CP, Morris Co., NJ, 6/4/11.