Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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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 NameLeast Skipper by Randy Newman => Fort Macon State Park, 2003-07-25
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameAncyloxypha numitor
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Statewide, but in somewhat local colonies; present in all provinces, and undoubtedly occurs in all 100 counties.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Local in occurrence, but common to occasionally abundant where found. More numerous in the lower Coastal Plain than elsewhere, and it is also quite common on the Outer Banks.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Apparently three broods statewide. Downstate, the first brood is clearly from very late April to June 5-10. Later broods (two or possibly three) run together and are difficult to discern from the flight data, but the species is present consistently from mid-June to mid-October. In the mountains, the first brood occurs from early May to late June, with the second and third broods occurring from the beginning of July to early October.
HabitatHABITAT: This is strictly a marsh species. It is found in discrete colonies that stay close to the grasses and sedges. It favors medium-height (1-3 feet) grasses of fresh to slightly brackish marshes, ditches, pond margins, wet meadows, wet savannas, and the like. It seldom strays to dry grassy areas.
See also Habitat Account for General Sedge, Grass, and Rush Mires
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Grasses, undoubtedly wetland species, are the foodplants of the caterpillars. Adults nectar less commonly than many other skippers, favoring low flowers within a foot of the ground.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is one of the most colonial of our butterflies in NC. It is difficult to find just one Least Skipper; with a little search five to ten or more can often be seen nearby. It has a distinct weak bouncing flight, very like a satyr, as it flies amid (as opposed to above) the grasses and reeds of its marshy habitat.

It is surprising that the NABA Checklist (2001), the Butterflies and Moths of North America [BAMONA] website, and the Butterflies of America website still call the species "Least Skipper". As there is the Tropical Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha arene) in AZ, the name of "Least Skipper" is a nested name, of which NABA disapproves. NatureServe now has adopted the common name of "Common Least Skipper", with no hyphen. We will retain the name of "Least Skipper" for now, but do not be surprised to see this name come into disfavor and/or disuse in upcoming years. As we have "Checkered-Skipper" for the genus Burnsius, "Roadside-Skipper" for Amblyscirtes, etc., "Least-Skipper" should be used for the genus Ancyloxypha.
State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other NameCommon Least Skipper

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Least Skipper
Photo by: Signa Williams
Comment: Dismal Swamp State Natural Area, Gates Co.; 2006-Aug-17
Least Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Randy Newman
Comment: Fort Macon State Park, Carteret Co.; 2003-July-25
Least Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Lori Arent
Comment: 2020-09-16. Durham Co.
Least Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Dennis M Forsythe
Comment: 2017-07-22. Georgetown Co. SC
Least Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: John Ennis
Comment: Orton Pond, Brunswick Co.; 4-Sep-2011
Least Skipper - Click to enlarge