New Jersey Butterflies

Clouded Skipper

Lerema accius

Identification: Very small—FW 0.7". Sexes similar below. Above: FW dark brown with 3 connected "bracelet" spots near the apex and 1 or 2 separated white spots in central area. The central spots are more conspicuous in the female, with the innermost one larger. HW unmarked dark brown. Below: Both wings dark brown, with pale, violet-tinged "frosting" along margins, and a separate area of frosting across the inner HW. The dark band between the frosted areas may be more conspicuous than the frosting itself when the butterfly is worn. Similar skippers: Most resembles a female Zabulon Skipper, but lacks that species' white line along outer curve of HW.

NJ Status and Distribution: Nonresident. Since 1990 a fairly regular summer immigrant from the south to NJ's southern and coastal counties. Not documented from north of the Coastal Plain.

NJ Range Map-Clouded Skipper

Habitat: Open, grassy areas with flowers—including gardens—often near woods.

Flight Period: August—September, rarely into October. Extreme dates: 6/18—11/3.

Larval Food Plants: Grasses (Paspalum, Erianthus, Echinochloa).

Overwintering Stage: Pupa, but apparently does not overwinter in NJ.

Best Locations: Cape May Point SP, Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May NWR, and surrounding area. Leaming's Run Gardens, Hereford Inlet Lighthouse garden.

Comments: Partial to nectaring on Everlasting Pea.

Clouded Skipper

Female (most have a larger, inner mid-wing spot), Rio Grande Valley, TX, 10/29/10.

Clouded Skipper

Sabal Palm Sanctuary, TX, 10/30/09.