Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan) (W.H. Edwards, 1863)

Delaware Skipper
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Diagnosis: Males are bright yellow orange above, with narrow black borders and dark veins extending inwards from them. In the female the black borders are a little wider, the veins a little darker, and the base of the forewing is dark. The male has no stigma. There is a thin vertical black bar at the end of the cell in both sexes of subspecies logan. The underside is yellowish orange, lacking any markings except a narrow dark border on the forewing. Wingspan: 26 to 30 mm.

Subspecies: There are two subspecies, both found in Canada. The nominate subspecies logan occurs from Quebec to Manitoba; subspecies lagus, which occurs in the Prairies, is paler and the dark forewing border is narrower than in subspecies logan. The dividing line between them appears to be in Manitoba, where both subspecies have been recorded.

Range: Anatrytone logan flies in the eastern and central U.S., and in Canada in the southern part of the Prairie Provinces, in southern Ontario, north to Bala and near Philipsburg, Quebec, just north of the U.S. border. Since 1999, it has also been recorded from Grenville County, just south of Ottawa.

Specimen collection data

Description of this image follows.
Delaware Skipper
(Anatrytone logan logan).
Cambridge, Ont. J. Kamstra

Similar Species: The European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) has a similar pattern, but it is much smaller and the wings are less pointed. [compare images]

Early Stages: The larva is bluish white, covered with tiny black bumps and with a black band on the next-to last segment. The head is white with black stripes in front. Foodplants are grasses including woolly beard grass (Erianthus spp.), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), and Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).

Abundance: Both subspecies are uncommon to rare in Canada.

Flight Season: Anatrytone logan flies from mid-July to mid-August in southern Ontario; subspecies lagus flies about three weeks earlier on the Prairies.

Habits: Subspecies lagus can be found in a variety of habitats on the Prairies, usually moist ones, while logan prefers drier meadows and open woodland clearings.

Remarks: The genus Atrytone was recently restricted to just one species, arogos (Boisduval and Leconte); other members of the genus, including logan, were transferred to Anatrytone (Burns, 1994b).

© 2002. This material is reproduced with permission from The Butterflies of Canada by Ross A. Layberry, Peter W. Hall, and J. Donald Lafontaine. University of Toronto Press; 1998. Specimen photos courtesy of John T. Fowler.