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Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Clouded Skipper

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A common sight in the southern region of the continent, the unassuming Clouded Skipper is a small butterfly that is often overlooked.

Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Hues of purple and green may overlay the otherwise brown Clouded Skipper. The small, flighty butterfly visits flowers in rapid succession for their nectar. When it rests on a flower or branch, it raises the forewings and lowers the hindwings. When males are stopped in this multi-dimensional position, one can see a triplet of small white dots resting in the upper edge of the dorsal side (top) of the forewing. Two separate white dots are closer to the head. Females have white spots in the same areas, but they are larger and less defined.

This species of butterfly enjoys areas near water sources as well as drier woodlands and meadows. Adults drink nectar from all sorts of flowers. Their caterpillars likely eat blades of weedy grass.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon
Flying insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Hesperiidae
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          Genus: Lerema
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            Species: accius
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Lerema accius
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 32mm to 45mm (1.25" to 1.77")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white
Descriptors: dull, plain, fast, flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 32mm (1.3in) and 45mm (1.8in)
Lo: 32mm
Md: 38.5mm
Hi: 45mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Clouded Skipper may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Clouded Skipper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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