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:
<<       >>
Common NameLong Dash by Ted Wilcox => 05/27/07 - Alleghany County, NC - male
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NamePolites mystic
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Only in the extreme northern mountains, where first found in the state in 2006 in Alleghany County, and found in Watauga County in 2007; presumed to occur in adjacent Ashe County. This is a "Northern" species, ranging southward only in the central Appalachians to WV, western VA, and now northern NC.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Only known from three or four sites in the state, but formerly common at the Alleghany County one (current status unknown). A remarkable 18 individuals were counted on the date of discovery, and as many as 20 were seen there in 2007. Presumed to be very rare in the northern mountains, if found anywhere else in NC.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: A single brood, in early summer; in NC from late May to very early July. The flight in 2007 was about two weeks earlier than that in 2006, thanks to a warm spring season.
HabitatHABITAT: This is a species of open wetlands, but it can and does range into adjacent uplands (fields). The sites in NC are a wet meadow/bog complex, which is the preferred habitat type in states to our north, and a marshy pond margin.
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: The primary food plants are grasses; bluegrasses (Poa spp.) have been mentioned in the literature. One individual in NC was seen nectaring on a wild azalea (Rhododendron spp.), though it is expected to nectar on milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) and a great variety of other species, such as Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).
CommentsCOMMENTS: Though the Long Dash was one of the more likely new species to be discovered in NC, word of discovery of a large population was quite a surprise. Ted Wilcox and Will Cook got landowner permission to survey a bog area where several rare butterflies (of other species) had been seen in the past. Though they missed their targets, especially Baltimore Checkerspot, they encountered a "gold mine" of skippers -- at least 18 individuals of Long Dash (first record south of VA) and 16 individuals of Two-spotted Skipper, a first state record west of the Coastal Plain and eastern edge of the Piedmont. Both of these species have been recorded in a handful of mountain counties in western VA, and the range of both has been extended roughly 60 miles to the south. Wilcox and Cook each obtained numerous photographs of both skipper species, and the photos can be viewed on their websites. The site remained strong on several dates in 2007, and Wilcox found a new site well to the south, in northern Watauga County, which extends the range southwestward. I found several at bogs and adjacent meadows at a new site in Watauga County in 2012. Unfortunately, this main bog site has become very overgrown, as cattle have been removed and no other grazing, mowing, or burning seems to be taking place to keep the woody vegetation reduced.

NOTE: A reported specimen, of unknown whereabouts, of a Long Dash collected by R.M. McKenzie on July 4, 1936 from what is now Crowders Mountain State Park in Gaston County, is certainly incorrectly identified, based on range and date.
State RankS1
State StatusSR
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymLimochores mystic
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: June 14, 2012, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV; male
Long Dash - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: June 14, 2012, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV
Long Dash - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: June 14, 2012, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV; female
Long Dash - Click to enlarge