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Nysa Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes nysa)


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


True to their name, Nysa Roadside Skippers are commonly seen fluttering along highways and thoroughfares early in the day.



Updated: 07/07/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Nysa Roadside Skippers are part of a genus of small butterflies with similar colors and markings. They are active in the cool mornings and can be found resting on the ground, among grass blades, or on plants, taking in the sun before the heat of the day ramps up. Common in the middle southern part of the U.S. and northern Mexico, this species is comfortable in arid environments.

Like other skippers, it holds its forewings up (vertically) and its hindwings out (horizontally), creating a unique profile. The interior part of the forewings has a small cluster of white spots that almost merge into a line, and a single white dot beneath. The underside of the hingwings has a mottled coloring of dark brown, white, and tan that is unique to its species.

Caterpillars feed on blades of various grasses that grow in their region. Two to three broods can be produced each year. As adults, the butterfly drinks nectar from flowers. They are active from spring through autumn. Look for them along the ground or at knee height in flower gardens, on lawns, in dry creek beds, around desert grasslands, and of course, by the side of the road.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Hesperiidae
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          Genus: Amblyscirtes
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            Species: nysa
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Amblyscirtes nysa
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 19mm to 30mm (0.74" to 1.18")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, white
Descriptors: spots, flying, small, dark
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 19mm (0.7in) and 30mm (1.2in)
Lo: 19mm
Md: 24.5mm
Hi: 30mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
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State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
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State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
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State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Nysa Roadside 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 Nysa Roadside Skipper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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