Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Fiery Skipper.
Updated: 3/21/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.