New Jersey Butterflies

Pepper and Salt Skipper

Amblyscirtes hegon

Identification: Tiny (forewing < 0.5"). Sexes similar. Above: FW and HW very dark with pale overscaling toward FW base and a white "bracelet" and several small white spots in outer FW. Below: FW and HW dark, with extensive pale overscaling. White spotband across HW and small inner white spots on HW usually obvious. FW pattern mirrors upperside. Black-and-white checkered fringes along trailing edges of both wings. Similar skippers: Common Roadside-Skipper is darker below, with the only obvious marking a white triangle on leading edge of FW.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Rare and very local in northwestern NJ. Recently reported from Sussex, Passaic, Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

NJ Range Map-Pepper and Salt Skipper

Habitat: Open areas, usually near wetlands. Unreported from gardens probably because of overall rarity.

Flight Period: One spring brood from late-May to mid-June. Extreme dates: 5/16—6/21.

Larval Food Plants: Many upland and wetland grasses.

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: High Point SP (nectars on Wild Geranium flowers along Sawmill Road).

Comments: Can be easily overlooked because of its small size and low, weak, flight.

Pepper and Salt Skipper

High Point SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/6/08.

Pepper and Salt Skipper

High Point SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/6/08, on Wild Geranium.