Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ I ]  [ J ]  [ K ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ Q ]  [ R ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ V ]  [ W ]  [ Y ]  [ Z ]  
Scientific Name begins with:
[ A ]  [ B ]  [ C ]  [ D ]  [ E ]  [ F ]  [ G ]  [ H ]  [ J ]  [ L ]  [ M ]  [ N ]  [ O ]  [ P ]  [ S ]  [ T ]  [ U ]  [ V ]  [ Z ]  
Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in HESPERIIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameDorantes Longtail by Jeff Pippen => Orange Co., NC 5 June 2007
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameThorybes dorantes
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: A stray to NC, scattered records across the state. This is a southern species, found primarily north to northern FL and TX. It is expanding its range northward, having been found now in 7 SC counties, and it breeds sparingly along the GA coast. It has somewhat recently (2000?) been found in VA, as well (Harry Pavulaan, pers. comm.).
AbundanceABUNDANCE: A recent "arrival" to the state, with five records in 1998-1999, one in 2004, one in 2007, one in 2014, and two in 2016. The 2014 record was remarkably early; Jeff Pippen photographed one on June 5 in Orange County. This individual had certainly been blown to or carried to NC by a tropical storm that had passed up the coast from FL a few days earlier. In fact, the two records in 2016 each came a few days after the passages of a hurricane and a tropical storm! Thus, it is a casual to very rare stray to the state at the present time.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Dates of eight records fall between early June and early October; the other two are not known. Remarkably, two of the records are from October 3, and both were seen by me at the N.C. State University arboretum, five years apart! The species flies all year in southern FL, but records for GA and northern FL are mainly in late summer and fall.
HabitatHABITAT: The species is typically found along woodland borders, old fields, gardens, and other brushy places, in similar habitats to the closely-related Long-tailed Skipper.
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: The foodplants are vine species of legumes (Fabaceae). Dorantes Longtails nectar on a wide variety of flowers, especially on Hairy Beggarticks (Bidens alba).
CommentsCOMMENTS: Records for Dorantes Longtail in NC are not overly surprising, considering its range expansion in FL. It became established in FL from the West Indies, probably through a natural invasion, within the past several decades. It can be easily overlooked as a Long-tailed Skipper, but the Dorantes has a brown body and wings, as opposed to blue-green coloration present on the Long-tailed's body and basal portion of the wings. However, the Dorantes tends not to spread its wings open like a Long-tailed but keeps them in a narrow "V". Thus, observers must look inside the "V", not always an easy task, to see the all-brown wings and body.

Richard Stickney saw one on July 29, 2014, at the NC Museum of Life and Science garden in Durham. He made an interesting observation: his record and the two from Wake County are from gardens/arboretums, and he speculated that life stages of this semi-tropical species were probably brought to NC on vegetation that was planted at those two sites. His point is well taken, as one would expect that most state records of truly vagrant Dorantes Longtails should be along the southeastern coastal area. On the other hand, at least three of the records came so close after the passages of hurricanes and tropical storms that it is clear that the species is carried or blown northward by such storms. The clustering of records for the "Triangle" region of the northeastern Piedmont can be attributed mainly to a higher concentration of butterfly field work than elsewhere in the state.

State RankSZN
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymUrbanus dorantes, Cecropterus dorantes
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Dorantes Longtail
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Miami-Dade Co., FL 29 Dec 2003
Dorantes Longtail - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Richard Stickney
Comment: September 2019. Gainesville, FL
Dorantes Longtail - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jon Lelito
Comment: Wake Co., 2016-June-12. Raulston Arboretum
Dorantes Longtail - Click to enlarge