New Jersey Butterflies

Delaware Skipper

Anatrytone logan

Identification: Very small—FW ≥0.6". Sexes similar below. Above: Male FW bright orange with broad, blackish-brown trailing border, black extending inward along veins, and black, angled cell-end bar. HW has central orange patch with black extending inward along veins from narrow, blackish-brown trailing border. Female FW similar to male's but with a large, dark central mark enclosing 2 orange spots. The dark mark does not touch the trailing border. Below: Both wings are bright, unmarked orange and have orange fringes. Similar skippers: Arogos Skipper is duller orange below with pale veins, has pale fringes, and above lacks dark veining and female's large dark FW mark. (Arogos Skippers seldom bask, however, so upperside is usually hard to see.) Rare Skipper is confined to the vicinity of marshes with its food plant in South Jersey, lacks dark veining above, and dark mark on female FW above touches dark border on trailing edge. European Skipper is much duller orange overall with very narrow dark borders on upper wings.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Widespread and fairly common.

NJ Range Map-Delaware Skipper

Habitat: Both dry and wet open, grassy areas, such as roadsides, meadows, freshwater marshes, and salt marshes. Readily visits gardens.

Flight Period: Early June—late August, with one brood peaking in July in the North; two broods on the coastal plain peaking in mid-June and August. Extreme dates: North Jersey 6/12—9/23; South Jersey 5/31—9/23.

Larval Food Plants: Grasses—including Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), beard grasses (Erianthus), and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)—and possibly sedges (Carex).

Overwintering Stage: Larva or pupa.

Best Locations: Silver Spray Farm, Flatbrookville, Rienaman Preserve.

Comments: The second brood on the coastal plain has been found in and near saltmarshes nectaring on Saltmarsh Fleabane (Pluchea purpurascens)—a native perennial.

Delaware Skipper

Male, Morris Co., NJ, 7/5/02.

Delaware Skipper

Female, Fredon Twp., Sussex Co., NJ, 7/4/06.

Delaware Skipper

Morris Co., NJ, 7/6/11, on thistle.