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Dusted Skipper - Atrytonopsis hianna


Global Rank: G4G5
State Rank: SNR

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001] Forewing 1.6-1.7 cm. Fairly large, facial area with white above and below black eye giving a masked appearance, wing fringes grayish and uncheckered. Uppersurface dark gray-brown with a three white spots in subapical region of forewing cell, male with tiny stigma. Undersurface gray-brown, lighter gray outwardly.

Phenology
One flight, late May to Mid-June northward, mid-April to mid-May southward; many flights, January to November near the Gulf Coast (Scott 1986). Mainly mid-May to mid-June (Glassberg 2001). Mid-May to mid-June in Canada (Layberry et al. 1998). Mid-May to early June in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981). Early May to late June in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978), mid-May to mid-June in western Nebraska (Johnson and Nixon 1967), mid-May to late June in North Dakota (McCabe and Post 1976).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by relatively unmarked gray-brown wings, wing fringes uncheckered, facial area with white above and below black eye giving a masked appearance, uppersurface dark gray-brown with a three white spots in subapical region of forewing cell; undersurface gray-brown, lighter gray outwardly.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southeastern Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba, south in west through plains to northern New Mexico and central Texas, east to southern Ontario, New Hampshire, south in east to Gulf Coast; absent over much of Great Lakes region, Louisiana, Florida (Scott 1986; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); 1615 m to 2195 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states, 1829 m to 2195 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978). Unreported in Montana through 1993 (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993), first documented in Blaine and Phillips counties in 1998 (FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database) and since reported in 8 more eastern counties, west in the north to Hill County, in the south to Custer and Carter counties (Butterflies and Moths of North America database), below 1220 m elevation. Locally uncommon (Glassberg 2001).

Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Mixed grass and tallgrass prairie, foothills, barrens, pine woodlands, oak-pine woodlands (Ferris and Scott 1981; Scott 1986; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); exclusive to barrens in upper Midwest tallgrass prairie remnants (Swengel and Swengel 2015). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants are grasses, specifically Andropogon gerardii and Schizachyrium scoparium (Shapiro 1965; Heitzman and Heitzman 1974; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Layberry et al. 1998). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Allium, Camassia, Cirsium, Erysimum, Fragaria, Penstemon, Rubus, Scutellaria, Thermopsis, Trifolium, Verbena) and mud (Shapiro 1965; Heitzman and Heitzman 1974; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Limited information. Eggs laid (singly?) on undersurface of host plant leaves, hatch in 7-8 days, live in nest of rolled or silk-tied leaves, develop to L7 instar in up to 97-104 days post egg-hatch (all depending on temperature), overwinter (diapause) as L7 instar, pupate 2-8 cm above ground the following spring among the basal clumps of host plant (Heitzman and Heitzman 1974; Scott 1979, 1986, 1992). Males perch throughout the day on or near ground, sometimes patrol exposed rock surfaces, in relatively flat areas near host plant waiting for passing females (Shapiro 1965; Heitzman and Heitzman 1974; Scott 1975b, 1986).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Dusted Skipper — Atrytonopsis hianna.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from