Poanes zabulon

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Zabulon Skipper
Male Zabulon Skipper, Megan McCarty114.jpg
Upper side of the male
Conservation status
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Hesperiidae
Genus: Poanes
Species: P. zabulon
Binomial name
Poanes zabulon
Boisduval & LeConte (1837)
  • Pamphila zabulon (Jones, 1897)
  • Atrytone zabulon (Godman & Salvin, 1900)
  • Atrytone cabulon (Stamm, 1911)

The Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) is a North American butterfly. It is sometimes called the Southern Dimorphic Skipper.[1]

Description[change | change source]

Upper side of the female
Underside of the female

This small butterfly triangle-shaped wings. The upper side of the male's wings is mostly orange. The edges of the wings are dark brown. The underside of the male's wings is mainly yellow-orange. The edges of the wings are dark brown.[2] On the hind wing (the bottom wing) there is a brown basal (basal means near where the wings connect to the body) patch with a yellow spot in it.[3] The upper side of the female's wings is dark brown. There are large, glassy spots near the edge of the fore wing (the top wing). The underside of the female's wings is a brownish-purplish color. The hind wing has a white streak on the top edge.[2] The wingspan is 1⅜ to 1⅝ inches.[4]

Similar species[change | change source]

The only similar species in the Zabulon Skipper's range is the Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok).

The Hobomok Skipper has a more northern range. It has a different flight period. They also have more rounded wings. The upper side of the male Hobomok Skipper's wings has thicker dark brown edges. The underside of the male's hind wing does not have the yellow spot in the brown basal patch.[3] While the female Zabulon Skipper has one form, the female Hobomok Skipper has two forms. There is the normal form and the pocahontas form. The upper side of the pocahontas form has smaller glassy spots.[2]

Distribution[change | change source]

It ranges from Wisconsin east to the East Coast, south to Georgia, Texas, and Panama.

Habitat[change | change source]

The Zabulon Skipper can be found in a variety of habitats such as woodland edges, woodland openings, near roads, and near streams. It can adapt to other habitats including suburban areas, parks, and gardens.[2]

Flight period[change | change source]

This butterfly can be seen from March to April and again in August to October in the southern part of its range. In the northern part of its range, it is seen from May to July and again in August to September.[2]

Life cycle[change | change source]

Courtship takes place in the afternoon. However, it will sometimes happen as early as 8:20 A.M.[2] Females lay their eggs singly on the underside of host plant leaves.[1] The caterpillar is either brown or green. It sometimes has a pinkish hue. It is often impossible to tell the difference between closely related caterpillars.[5] The chrysalis is often formed inside a leaf shelter. It is brown. The abdomen is a lighter brown with small black dots.[1] The hibernating stage is unknown.[2] The Zabulon Skipper has 2 broods per year.[3]

Host plants[change | change source]

Here is a list of host plants that the Zabulon Skipper caterpillar feed on:

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 James A. Scott (1986). The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA. ISBN 0-8047-2013-4
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Rick Cech and Guy Tudor (2005). Butterflies of the East Coast. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. ISBN 0-691-09055-6
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Jim P. Brock and Kenn Kaufman (2003). Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin, New York, NY. ISBN 0-618-15312-8
  4. "Zabulon Skipper," [1]
  5. Allen J. Thomas, Jim P. Brock, and Jeffrey Glassberg (2005). Caterpillars in the Field and Garden. Oxford University Press, New York, NY. ISBN 978-0-19-514987-6

Other websites[change | change source]