Ottoe Skipper

Hesperia ottoe

The Ottoe Skipper is listed as a species of special concern by the Wisconsin DNR. I looked for this species on many occasions, in places that they were said to occur, but I did not see one until 2008.

Glassberg (Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East) calls this species the “skipper-king of the tall grass prairies”. It has been found mainly in tall grass prairie habitat near hill tops in Wisconsin. The Xerces Society site has additional information on this skipper.

Weekly sightings for Ottoe Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Above, the male of this species is orange with black margins and a dark stigma in the center of the wing. The female is darker and has variable light spots. Below, this species is mainly a light yellow, usually with no spots in the male, and sometimes with light spots on the female. Notice the image of the very fresh female, which shows somewhat purplish spots.

Similar species

The male “Pawnee” form of the Leonard’s Skipper is very similar, but this form is found farther west and flies later in the year than the Ottoe Skipper. The Byssus Skipper may fly with this species in the southwestern part of the state, and being nearly the same size it may be confused with this species in flight. Worn individuals may indeed be confused with this species if only seen from below.

Habitat

Tall grass prairies and adjacent areas.

Flight

This species is single brooded and may be found from late June to late July.

Abundance

An uncommon species in Wisconsin, this species is rarely abundant anywhere in its range. The highest single day total on an NABA count is 30 individuals.

Late Ottoe Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jul 19, 2014 Crawford Scott and Ann Swengel
Jul 23, 2011 Crawford Armund Bartz, Mike Reese
Jul 23, 2008 Crawford Mike Reese
Jul 27, 2019 Monroe Patrick Ready
Jul 29, 2011 Vernon Armund Bartz

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Ottoe Skipper
Map key
Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Mated pair

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 23, 2011.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 23, 2011.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 23, 2011.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Rush Creek SNA, Crawford Co., WI. July 7, 2009.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Rush Creek SNA, Crawford Co., WI. July 7, 2009.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 9, 2008.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 9, 2008.

Ottoe SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Rush Creek State Natural Area, Crawford Co., WI. July 23, 2008.