Alberta, Canada
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Skipper Family
Hesperiidae
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General Description

By Nora Bryan

The Skippers are a large Family of small, generally orange, brown or rusty coloured butterflies that tend to be heavy bodied and furry – almost moth-like. The wings seem small compared to the body. The slender club-ended antennae are a reason Skippers are usually classified as butterflies, although they are really no more related to other butterfly families than they are to moth families.

Many skippers (the branded or folded wing skippers) hold their forewings at a 45-degree angle while the hind wings rest horizontally. The rapid darting flight gives them their common Family name.

The caterpillars have a distinctive neck constriction and taper to the hind end. Many species eat grasses while others eat legumes or other plants. Pupation takes place inside a silken web that includes plant debris (bringing to mind a moth’s cocoon) at the base of the host plant.

There are just fewer than thirty species in three Subfamilies that can be found in Alberta. The Pyrgine or Spreadwing Skippers include the Cloudywings, Duskywings, Sootywings, Checkered Skippers and few others. 9 species have been recorded in Alberta.

The Heteropterinid or Intermediate Skippers has just one Canadian representative – the widespread and common Arctic Skipper.

All of the other Skippers (17 recorded species) in Alberta belong to the Hesperinids, also called the Branded or Folded-Wings Skippers.

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Where to find Skippers in Alberta   

There is currently no information regarding this species in our Where & When database.

Skipper Family Behaviour   

No observations regarding Skipper Family behavior have been submitted to the database yet.

Interesting Facts about Skippers   

No interesting facts regarding Skippers have been submitted to the database yet.

Skipper Family Stories from our Readers   

No stories regarding Skippers have been submitted to the database yet.

Recent Skipper Family Reports in Alberta


No. Location Reporter Date
2 County of Athabasca No. 12 Mark 2010/08/04
2 Ponoka County Blake 2010/05/08
5 Oriole Park Blake 2009/07/15
2 Sherwood Bailey 2009/06/10
9 Town of Brooks round 2009/05/29

Skipper Family Hotspots in Alberta

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