Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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Scientific Name begins with:
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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:
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Common NameSwarthy Skipper by Randy Newman => Fort Macon State Park, 2007-07-07
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameNastra lherminier
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Essentially statewide, but not widespread in the mountains; might occur in all counties, but more widespread downstate. Records for just two of the six southwestern mountain counties, and also just one county record for the extreme northeastern Coastal Plain. Might be absent in a few northeastern Coastal Plain counties, but there has been a relative lack of field work in this part of the state.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Fairly common and widespread in the Coastal Plain (at least in the southern half) and in the eastern and southern Piedmont; sometimes common in savannas in the lower Coastal Plain. Uncommon in the upper Piedmont, locally uncommon in the mountains, and rare in the northern Coastal Plain. Certainly, it is more numerous in the eastern half of NC than in the western half, even though this is not obvious from the range map.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Two broods; early May to mid- or late June, and early or mid-July to late October. More data needed for the mountains, but two broods there also; apparently from early or mid-May into early July, and from late July through September.
HabitatHABITAT: Widespread and not particularly choosy in habitat, though usually where moderately thick to dense native grass/herb cover is present. Habitats include savannas, overgrown fields, powerline clearings, woodland borders, glades, and edges of marshes. It is not generally thought of as a wetland species, but it does occur (as indicated above) along marsh edges and savannas. It avoids pastures and other places dominated by exotic grasses.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional and Semi-Natural Grasslands
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Little bluestem (Schizachyrium [Andropogon] scoparius) is the most common foodplant, if not the only host. The species has a wide array of nectar plants; most are low growing herbs, with flowers within a foot of the ground.
CommentsCOMMENTS: The Swarthy Skipper is one of the plainest-looking skippers and is easily overlooked and misidentified; it quickly drops into grassy cover when clouds block the sun. It is a widespread species, but is seldom really numerous anywhere. But, because of its many habitats, it is a numerous species in NC. More field work is needed in the mountains and northern Coastal Plain to determine its true abundance there.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Swarthy Skipper
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Richard Stickney
Comment: Durham Co., May 2018
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: David L. Heavner
Comment: 22 Aug 2013. Rockingham County.
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Gene Schepker
Comment: 2015-June-08. Sustainable Rest Stop just south of Wilkesboro, Wilkes County.
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: Aug 22, 2013, Rockingham County
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: Sep 26, 2013, Chatham County
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Chris Talkington
Comment: Mecklenburg County, Latta Plantation. 10-Aug-2013
Swarthy Skipper - Click to enlarge