Juba Skipper (Hesperia juba) (Scudder, 1871)

Diagnosis: Hesperia juba is characterized by the dark margin of the forewing that extends in lobes farther into the wing between the veins; these lobes have sharp margins with no blending into the ground colour. The underside of the hindwing is light brown, with the anal area tawny; the medial band is broken into widely separated white spots that are extended very slightly along the wing veins. Wingspan: 27 to 34 mm.

Range: The Juba Skipper flies over a wide area of the western U.S., but reaches Canada only in the southern interior of British Columbia as far north as the Chilcotin River near Riske Creek.

Similar Species: The Western Branded Skipper (H. colorado) and the Nevada Skipper (H. nevada) have greenish undersides and dark upperside borders that blend into the lighter ground colour. [compare images]

Early Stages: The larva is cream-coloured, with a dark head crossed by pale bars (Tilden and Smith,1986). Preferred food plants include needlegrass (Stipa spp.), Blue Grass (Poa pratensis and P.agassizensis), and Hairgrass (Deschampsia elongata) (Scott, 1986).

Abundance: This is considered an uncommon species in Canada.

Flight Season: There are two flights, mid-May to June and in September, both in the U.S. and Canada; it is suspected that, at least at some high-altitude locations, this represents only one generation, with some adults hibernating and flying again in the spring (Shapiro, 1979).

Habits: The preferred habitat of juba is sagebrush areas and open woodland (Scott, 1986).

© 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.