Two-spotted Skipper

Euphyes bimacula

This is not a common skipper in most of Wisconsin. I have only seen this species at Sandhill Wildlife Area in Wood County and in the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, less than 20 miles from Sandhill. I believe it is probably still present in marshes northeast of this area, but there have not been many observations in this area in July.

Weekly sightings for Two-spotted Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Below, this species has a bright orange head and orange on the leading edge of the wings that blends into a brownish gray color towards the trailing edge of the wing. The wing veins are somewhat prominent with a very clear white fringe along the inner margin, which is a distinctive characteristic.

Above, the male has an orange head and the orange color also diminishes farther away from the head. There is some variation in the amount of orange in the area of the stigma. Notice the difference in the two males in the last two photos.

The female from above also has an orange head with little orange on the leading edge of the forewings and two light spots in the middle of the forewing.

Similar species

This is a relatively distinctive skipper in Wisconsin, and should not be confused with any other Wisconsin skipper.

Habitat

Marshes and wet meadows.

Flight

One flight. This species can usually be expected in late June and early July, and most often has a shorter flight period than the other wetland skippers.

Abundance

In 2003, Ron Arnold and I saw 39 of this species at Sandhill Wildlife Area and I reported it on the NABA sightings page. I received several emails commenting on the amazing number of this species, as in the east it is an uncommon to see more than one or two of these individuals in a day. We saw these on a NABA count, and this was the record number of this species on any count in the nation up to that time.

Early Two-spotted Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jun 11, 2007 Juneau Ann Thering
Jun 20, 2010 Burnett Rick Haug
Jun 21, 2007 Wood Mike Reese
Jun 21, 2010 Burnett Kathryn Kirk
Jun 24, 2010 Burnett Esjay, Kathy J, Mike ...

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Two-spotted Skipper
Map key
Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 4, 2004.

Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 6, 2003.

Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, July 6, 2003.

Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Female

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

Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Male

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

Two-spotted SkipperClick to enlarge

Sandhill Wildlife Area, Wood Co., WI, June 21, 2007.