North American Range
Once considered a northern subspecies of Wallengrenia otho, which is now called Southern Broken-Dash. Adults have a slow flight. Males perch up to six feet high on exposed twigs to wait for females, usually in the early morning. Caterpillars eat leaves; half-grown caterpillars overwinter.
Upperside is dark brown. Male forewing has a cream spot at the end of the cell, and a divided stigma (the “broken dash”); female forewing has a few elongated cream spots. Underside is dark brown or purple-brown; hindwing has a pale band of spots. Often confused with Dun Skipper or Little Glassywing, look for the “backward 3” shaped spots on the ventral hindwing.
Like many of our meadow skippers, Northern Broken-Dash had a short flight period. During VBS they had one brood and flew from mid-June through the beginning of September, peaking near the end of July. Extreme dates: 10 June 2005 in Manchester (B. Pfeiffer) and 2 September 2003 in Burlington (C. Gifford).
Distribution and Habitat
Found throughout Vermont during VBS, except in the extreme northeast. Their preferred habitats are open areas near woods such as grasslands, old fields and roadsides. Larval hostplants include Deertongue Grass (Panicum clandestinum) and Cypress Panic grass(Panicum dichotomum). Adults favor white, pink or purple flowers for nectar and will nectar from milkweed (Asclepias), dogbane (Apocynum), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus).