Peck’s Skipper

Polites peckius

Peck’s Skipper is found more often in urban areas than other skippers, including city parks, and in residential lawns, nectaring on clover. I am always happy to see a single Peck’s Skipper in most state natural areas or wildlife areas, but large gardens like Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee, or the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville are the best places to see more than ten individuals of this species in a day.

Weekly sightings for Peck’s Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Below, this species has conspicuous light spots towards the body and a median spot band with the central spots somewhat longer than the others. Sometimes the spots towards the body are somewhat connected to the median spot band, which changes the appearance substantially. Above, the males’ stigma separates the lighter orange wing margin from the darker inner wing. The female is darker and has very conspicuous orange colored spots.

Similar species

Below, this Skipper is rather distinctive and shouldn’t be confused with any other species. Above, the male does look very similar to the Tawny-edged Skipper, but the Tawny-edged is a solid brownish color on the hindwing above, and the Peck’s Skipper has a spot band there. The Long Dash is also somewhat similar, but is slightly larger, and the middle two segments of its spot band are nearly the same size as the other spots, while in the Peck’s Skipper, the the middle two spots are obviously longer than the other spots.

Habitat

Roadsides, woodland edges, old fields. I have seen this skipper more often near moister habitats, but this may be just because the nectar sources were more abundant in these areas.

Flight

This species had at least two broods, with the first flying in late May and June and the last generation flying in late September.

Abundance

This species is found throughout the state, but I have never found it to be very abundant. The most I have ever seen in one day is seven, with most sightings confined to a single individual.

Late Peck’s Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Oct 6, 2011 Dane Karl and Dorothy Legler
Oct 7, 2015 Dane Mike Reese
Oct 7, 2007 Dane Ann Thering
Oct 9, 2010 La Crosse Daniel Jackson
Oct 16, 2010 Dane Mike Reese

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Peck's Skipper
Map key
Peck's SkipperClick to enlarge

NE of Goodman, WI. July 16, 2008.

Peck's SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

Lunch Creek Meadows SNA, Waushara Co., WI, July 6, 2005.

Peck's SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Puchyan Prairie SNA, Green Lake Co., WI, July 12, 2004.

Peck's SkipperClick to enlarge

Sandy Ridge Reservation, North Ridgeville, OH, August 14, 2004.

Peck's SkipperClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 3, 2005.