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Montana Field Guides

Oslar's Roadside-Skipper - Amblyscirtes oslari


Global Rank: G4
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 1.3 cm. Forewings pointed; fringes of uppersurface gray and slightly checked at vein tips, undersurface of hindwing fringe unchecked and pale gray-brown. Uppersurface orangish-brown, unspotted (faint apical forewing spots rare), male stigma small and dark. Undersurface of forewing with discal area orangish-brown, hindwing tawny gray with paler gray postmedian band.

Phenology
One flight, June to early July northward, mid-May to mid-June in Colorado; several flights southward, April through September (Scott 1986). Mid-May to early September (Glassberg 2001). June to early July in Canada (Layberry et al. 1998). Mid-May to early July in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981). Late April to mid-July in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978; Scott and Epstein 1987), late May to late June in north-central Nebraska (Dankert and Nagel 1988), mid-May to late June in western North Dakota (McCabe and Post 1976), July to September in southern Arizona (Bailowitz 1988).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of pointed forewings, fringes gray and slightly checked, uppersurface orangish-brown, unspotted (faint apical forewing spots rare), undersurface of forewing discal area orangish-brown, hindwing tawny gray with paler gray postmedian band.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan south along the Rocky Mountain foothills and western Great Plains in weastern North and South Dakota, western Nebraska, western Kansas, to Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas, northern Mexico (Scott 1986; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001), usually below 2134 m elevation, but up to 2987 m, in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), 1585 m to 2987 m elevation in Colorado, but usually below 2286 m (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978). In Montana, reported from at least 10 counties in the eastern 2/3 of the state, as far west as Lewis and Clark County (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopteristis' Society database; Butterflies and Moths of North America database), 841 m to at least 1341 m elevation. Rare to uncommon, except locally common in Colorado (Glassberg 2001).

Migration
Non-migratory. In Arizona, a low mobility species (Bock et al. 2007).

Habitat
Prairie ravines, canyon bottoms, open woodlands, stream beds, badlands (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Bailowitz 1988; Dankert and Nagel 1988; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); found only in undeveloped exurban sites in Arizona (Bock et al. 2007). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants are grasses, including Andropogon (multiple species) and Bouteloua (multiple species), also Bromus in captivity (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1992, 2006; Layberry et al. 1998). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Cirsium, Hedysarum, Lathyrus, Monarda, Oxytropis, Penstemon, Symphoricarpos) and mud (Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Limited information. Females lay eggs singly on underside of host plant leaves. Larvae feed on host plant leaves, build silk-tied leaf-tube nests, hibernate (diapause) as fully-fed mature (L5?) instar, adults eclose (emerge from pupae) in about 15 days in captivity (Scott 1992, 2006). Males perch throughout the day in sandy patches of gully bottoms, roadside ditches, awaiting passing females (Scott 1975b, 1986).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Oslar's Roadside-Skipper — Amblyscirtes oslari.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from