Two-spotted Skipper (Euphyes bimacula) (Grote and Robinson, 1867)

Diagnosis: Euphyes bimacula is dark brown on the upperside and a pale tawny orange beneath. The male stigma is narrow, and clearly consists of two sections that do not quite line up; the patch surrounding it is a pale, tawny colour. The female forewing has two to four pale cream spots on the upperside. The hindwings are unmarked, above and below, except for the white veins on the underside that contrast with the pale yellowish-brown ground colour. Wingspan: 25 to 30 mm.

Subspecies: Two, but only the nominate subspecies is found in Canada.

Range: Euphyes bimacula is found throughout the northeastern U.S. and the Atlantic coast. In Canada its range extends from southern Ontario, north to Sudbury, and east through southern Quebec to near Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Specimen collection data

Similar Species: Other Euphyes; the unmarked hindwing with the veins white on the underside is unique in the genus. The Crossline Skipper (Polites origines) often has an unmarked hindwing, but the stigma in origines is much wider than in bimacula and the veins on the underside are not white. [compare images]

Early Stages: The larva is greenish; the head is cream-coloured with black and brown bars and bands. The foodplant is a sedge, Carex trichocarpa (Scott, 1986).

Abundance: This species is uncommon and very local, like many of the sedge-feeding skippers.

Flight Season: Euphyes bimacula flies in late June and July in Canada. There is one generation per year in Canada, two farther south.

Habits: Although usually seen in roadside sedge patches, bimacula is sometimes seen nectaring in areas of long grass away from the sedges.

Remarks: This species sometimes seems to disappear from known locations for several years, and then reappears again.

© 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.