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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Arogos Skipper - Atrytone arogos
Other Names:  Iowa Skipper, Atrytone arogos iowa

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G2G3
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status

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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Arogos Skipper is dependent on native prairies and is believed to be declining in response to loss of habitat across its range among other threats. In Montana the species’ persistence is threatened for these reasons and more information is needed on its distribution, life history, and ecological relationships. As state rank cannot exceed global rank we have assigned the species a rank of S2S3, and will continue to refine the rank as more information becomes available.
General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001] Forewing 1.3-1.4 cm. Uppersurface of males yellow-orange with broad gray-brown to black border, veins not darkened; females larger and darker, often with yellow-orange only on forewing disc and black streak in center. Undersurface of hindwing in both sexes yellow-orange with lighter veins, border with white fringe.

One flight, July, in the north and Colorado; two flights, mid-May to early September in Missouri and Georgia; many flights, March to November, in Florida (Scott 1986). One brood areas, June and July; two brood areas, May to early July and August and September (Glassberg 2001). Mid-June to mid-July in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), early July to early August in Colorado (Scott and Epstein 1987).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of smaller size, the uppersurface with a broad darkish border and a central yellow-orange area; undersurface of hindwing with yellow-orange with lighter veins, border with white fringe.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Several separate prairie populations: 1) northeastern Wyoming, southeastern Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and central Minnesota south to southern Texas, 2) Colorado Front Range, 3) New Jersey south to northeastern Georgia, 4) peninsular Florida, 5) Gulf Coast (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); to 1890 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states and Black Hills (Ferris and Brown 1981), to at least 1637 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957). Not reported in Montana through 1993 (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993), one 1994 record in Carter County since then (FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database; S. Kohler personal communication), at about 1000 m elevation. Localy rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 1

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


Undisturbed tall and mixed-grass prairie, grassy meadows, serpentine barrens (Heitzman 1966; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); most often dry prairie, less often wet prairie in the upper Midwest (Swengel and Swengel 1999). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants are grasses, particularly Andropogon (multiple species), possibly Bouteloua and Panicum (Heitzman 1966; Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Asclepias, Carduus, Cirsium, Coreopsis, Dalea, Echinacea, Eriogonum, Eupatorium, Gallardia, Geranium, Grindelia, Helianthus, Heliopsis Heterotheca, Liatris, Lobelia, Medicago, Monarda, Penstemon, Petalostemum, Ratibida, Rudbeckia, Solidago, Verbena) and mud (Brown 1957; Heitzman 1966; Swengel and Swengel 1999; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on undersurface of host plant leaves, typically 5-7 cm below leaf tip; a captive female laid 17 eggs (Heitzman 1966; Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Eggs hatch in about 7 days, develop from L1 instar to L4 instar in about 32 days, enter diapause (overwinter) or continue to L6 instar in another 26 days and pupate; adults eclose (exit pupae) in about 12 days (Heitzman 1966). Larvae eat leaves, live in nests of rolled leaves (2-3) lined with silk, overwinter as L4 instar, pupate in leaf nest 10-20 cm above ground (Heitzman 1966; Scott 1979, 1986, 1992, 2006). Males perch in the afternoon low to the ground near host plant on slopes and flats waiting for passing females (Scott 1975b, 1986).

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Citation for data on this website:
Arogos Skipper — Atrytone arogos.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from