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Hoary Edge Skipper (Achalarus lyciades)

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

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The big, dark Hoary Edge Skipper is alone in having a smidgen of light color on its wings.

Updated: 01/04/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This small butterfly can be found at the edges of forests or clearings from spring to autumn. "Hoary" means grayish-white, and that coloration can be found on the bottom edge of the hindwings of the Hoary-Edge Skipper when they are raised up. No other eastern North American skipper has this colored area, making it tremendously useful for identification purposes. The top of the forewing is brown with orange patches on it, and this side of the wing is rarely visible since the Hoary Edge Skipper usually keeps its wings lifted up.

The caterpillars for this skipper feed on tickseed or tick trefoils, a type of wildflower from the bean family. One or two generations are born every year. Look for adults and larvae in lightly-wooded areas as well as sandy areas with vegetation.©InsectIdentification.org

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


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Hemiptera
        Family: Hesperiidae
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          Genus: Achalarus
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            Species: lyciades
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Achalarus lyciades
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 40mm (0.98" to 1.57")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; orange; white; gray; black; tan
Descriptors: dark; mottled; small; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 25mm (1.0in) and 40mm (1.6in)
Lo: 25mm
Md: 32.5mm
Hi: 40mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
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 Hoary Edge 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 Hoary Edge Skipper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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