The Fiery Skipper is a bright butterfly with big eyes and a flight posture that looks more like soaring than fluttering.
This species can be seen flying over grass (lawns), fields, bushes and around forest openings. Though a butterfly, this small species is sometimes mistaken for a moth. The Fiery Skipper is orange with brown spots on the underside of its wings. This side is visible when the the butterfly lands on a flower. Sometimes all the wings are raised; other times its forewings and hindwings sit at right angles to each other. When that happens, the topsides of wings are visible, showing dark brown wings with a row of small orange dashes near the edge. They are active from spring through late autumn and are very common in the Midwest and the Northeast.
The caterpillar may be a variety of colors ranging from brown to green. It has a large head and a brown stripe that runs down its back. This species feeds on grasses of all kinds including ornamental ones. Two generations of the Fiery Skipper can be born in one year; more can be counted on in warmer climates.
Scientific Name: Hylephila phyleus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 38mm (0.98in to 1.48in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.