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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: 01/04/2022; 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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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
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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 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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