Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) (Boisduval & Le Conte, 1837)

Diagnosis: Both sexes of this medium-sized skipper have pointed wings, but are otherwise very different in appearance. In the male the upperside is bright yellow-orange with wide black margins and the underside has a yellowish central patch and dark spots. The female upperside is very dark brown with lighter spots and the underside is dark brown with small lighter patches.

Subspecies: There are several, but only the nominate subspecies has been found in Canada.

Range: Zabulon flies throughout the southeastern US, north to Massachusetts, and occasionally to Pelee Island, Ontario.

Similar Species: The Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok)

Early Stages: The larvae live singly in silk-lined nests on the foodplants, various grasses, Tridens andEragrostis in the eastern US (Scott, 1986).

Abundance: The Zabulon Skipper is common in the south, less so further north.

Flight Season: There are two generations per year over most of the range, probably more in the south. It is on the wing from late May to early July, and again from mid-August to late September.

Habits: Males spend much of the time perching in wooded areas, waiting for females.

Remarks: In the past, zabulon has been reported several times in southern Ontario, but these have always been misidentifications. Recently, however, the species was taken on two separate occasions on Pelee Island, Ontario, the most southerly point in Canada.

© 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.