North American Range
This common meadow skipper is relatively widespread and able to adapt to just about any damp, grassy habitat. They are fairly easy to identify in the field due to the tawny color of the costal margin on the forewing. Though still common in the Northeast, the Tawny-edged Skipper is declining and is no longer considered common in the southern part of its range. To await receptive females, males perch all day in grassy valley bottoms and swales. Mating takes place during mid-afternoon. Females lay eggs singly on or near the host plant. Caterpillars feed on leaves and live in shelters of tied leaves. Pupae hibernate.
Upperside is dark brown with orange markings; orange along the costal edge of forewing enters the end of the cell. Male has a sinuous forewing stigma. Underside of hindwing is brassy with no markings.
The Tawny-edged Skipper flight period was long compared to many other meadow skippers during VBS. They had one brood and were seen beginning in mid-May through the beginning of September with a few stragglers into October in some years. Extreme dates: 19 May 2004 in Pownal (K. Hemeon) and 3 October 2005 in Norwich (C. Rimmer).
Distribution and Habitat
The Tawny-edged Skipper was found throughout Vermont, both historically and during VBS. They are generalists and utilize a wide range of grassy, open habitats including damp meadows, prairie swales, lawns and vacant lots. Caterpillar hosts are panic grasses (Panicum), Bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and Crabgrass (Digitaria filiformis). Adults nectar a number of flowers including, Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca), thistles (Cirsium) and dogbanes (Apocynum).