Indian Skipper

Hesperia sassacus

The Indian Skipper is mainly a northern species in Wisconsin. In 2004, I saw my first example of this species in Waushara County, in the center of the state; although there was an historical record of this species in Waushara County, this was my first sighting of the Indian Skipper in twenty years of observing.

Weekly sightings for Indian Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Below, this skipper is somewhat variable in color from yellow to orange with a thin, and lighter spot band. Above, the male is yellow to orange with an irregular, wide black margin and a distinct stigma, while the female is similar, with a couple of darker spots instead of the stigma.

Similar species

In Wisconsin this species should only be confused with the Long Dash. I have received many Long Dash sightings that turned out to be Indian Skippers, as well as the reverse. The Long Dash appears several weeks later than the Indian Skipper, and fresh specimens have a slightly reddish appearance and an obvious contrasting spot band on the hind wing below. Above, the Long Dash male has dark marks in line with the stigma, making it look like a long dash in the middle of the wing, quite unlike the thin stigma of the Indian Skipper.

Habitat

Roadsides, open areas in woodlands, old fields, and meadows, especially in the northern counties.

Flight

This species is single brooded and flies from late May through June.

Abundance

Common in the northern counties, but less common farther south. I have seen more than 30 of these in a single day.

Early Indian Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
May 19, 2012 Jackson Southern Wisconsin But...
May 21, 2005 Jackson Mike Reese
May 25, 2010 Burnett Esjay Anderson
May 25, 2012 Jackson Jeanette Klodzen
May 26, 2007 Jackson Karl and Dorothy Legler

Locations

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

Hwy 47 roadside, 3 miles south of Hwy 70, Oneida Co., WI, June 13, 2005.

Indian SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Cedar Springs Fishery area, Waushara Co., WI, June 3, 2004.

Indian SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI, June 18, 2004.

Indian SkipperClick to enlarge

Moquah Barrens, Bayfield Co., WI. July 1, 2008.Female.

Indian SkipperClick to enlarge

Cedar Springs Fishery area, Waushara Co., WI, June 3, 2004.

Indian SkipperClick to enlarge

Moquah Barrens, Bayfield Co., WI. July 1, 2008.