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Sachem Skipper (Atalopedes campestris)


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



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Sachem Skippers are common and prolific with multiple populations reaching all of North America's states and provinces.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Sachem Skippers can be found all year round in warm, southern regions like Florida and Mexico. Some migrate north into Canada, making this species a true North American. It is one of the 'three wizards', a trio of fast-flying, brown-orange butterflies often seen together, and usually in the South. Whirlabouts and Fiery Skippers make up the rest of the trifecta. Sachem Skippers can be mistaken for Hesperia Skippers, a subfamily with similar features but straighter antennae. Female Sachems might also be mistaken for Leonard's Skipper, but the Sachem's spots are lighter and more transparent.

Sachems are grass skippers. Their caterpillars feed on Bermuda and St. Augustine grasses, as well as crabgrass and goosegrass. The caterpillar is a dark greenish-brown to black with a black head. Adults drink nectar from flowers growing on shrubs and herbs. They are agile and quick. Look for them in flower gardens, backyards, parks, fields, meadows, and rural areas. Areas where both larval and adult food sources are abundant are a good place to start searching.




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


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Herperiidae
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          Genus: Atalopedes
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            Species: campestris
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Atalopedes campestris
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 18mm to 28mm (0.70" to 1.10")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: orange, brown, black
Descriptors: flying, quick, small, furry, fast
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 18mm (0.7in) and 28mm (1.1in)
Lo: 18mm
Md: 23mm
Hi: 28mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
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State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
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State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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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 Sachem 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 Sachem Skipper. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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