North American Range
It is the only native Vermont skipper that also occurs into Eurasia. Small, dainty and beautifully patterned, the Arctic Skipperling is a boreal butterfly, but not arctic as its name implies. Its flight is low and weak. Males perch on low grasses and wait for females, seldom do they actually patrol in openings. Don’t let this butterfly’s perching behavior confuse you when you encounter it in the field; it will both bask with its wings spread like a spread-winged skipper, and perch with wings folded like a grass skipper.
Small and easy to identify. Upperside is black with squared orange spots. Underside of the forewing is orange with black spots; underside of hindwing is red-orange with cream to whitish spots outlined in black.
One brood found from the end of May through the middle of July with peak flight occurring the third week of June during VBS. Extreme dates: Extreme dates: 23 May 1998 in Addison (S. Griggs), 24 May 2006 in Bristol (B. Collins) and 9 August 2006 in Glover (J. Hart).
Distribution and Habitat
Widespread in central and northern Vermont during VBS, but only found above valley floors in southern Vermont. It is often located in glades and openings near heavily forested areas, moist meadows and streamsides. Host plants are grasses including species of Calamagrostis and Panicum. Adults nectar on Blackberry (Rubus) and Iris (Iris) as well as others.