Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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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 NameTawny-edged Skipper by Jeff Pippen => Harnett Co., NC 29 May 2005
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NamePolites themistocles
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Essentially statewide, with records for all three provinces. It is present on the Outer Banks.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Uncommon but widespread across the state; locally numerous in a few savannas and other dense, diverse grasslands with many flowers. Somewhat more numerous in the eastern half of the state than in the western half. This species is not as common in NC as one would surmise by reading field guides, because of the "Northern" bias of most guides.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Two broods; downstate it is present from early May to early July, and mid- or late July to mid-October. In the mountains, it is found from early or mid-May to late September.
HabitatHABITAT: The species is found in old fields, woodland borders, powerline clearings, savannas, and other places with abundant and usually thick native grass cover. It is more numerous in slightly damp grasslands (such as savannas) than in truly dry places, but it is not a marsh skipper. Like many other grass skippers, it tends to avoid places dominated by exotic grasses, such as pastures and abandoned cultivated fields.
See also Habitat Account for General Successional and Semi-Natural Grasslands
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: The foodplants are native grasses, particularly panicgrasses (Coleataenia spp.). The species nectars on a wide variety of flowers, with no particular groups dominating --unlike the preference for Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) by the Peck's Skipper.
CommentsCOMMENTS: Both the Peck's Skipper and the Tawny-edged Skipper are considered by references to be among the most abundant skippers in the northeastern states. However, neither is all that common in NC. I have seen Tawny-edged more frequently in rich grass/forb places such as savannas than elsewhere. It is outnumbered in NC by the very similar Crossline Skipper, especially in the drier grassy areas. Because of the similar appearance of Tawny-edged and Crossline skippers -- even photos of the two can be very difficult to differentiate -- abundance and distribution of both species need further clarification. And, I suspect that a moderate number of reports of "Tawny-edged" refer to the much more common Crossline; fortunately, Tawny-edged does occur statewide, so errors of accepting incorrect reports do not affect range maps but can affect flight charts and details of abundance.
State RankS4
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Tawny-edged Skipper
Photo by: Paul Hart
Comment: Raven Rock State Park, Harnett Co.; 2007-Aug-19
Tawny-edged Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Female, Dare Co., NC; 2-Oct-2005
Tawny-edged Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: Longleaf Pine Savanna, Carteret Co.; 31 Aug 2008
Tawny-edged Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Jeff Pippen
Comment: male. New Hanover Co.; 28 Aug 2004
Tawny-edged Skipper - Click to enlarge