Common Roadside-Skipper

Amblyscirtes vialis

Despite its name, The Common Roadside-Skipper is not a common species in Wisconsin. Before I had ever seen this species, I had asked other butterfliers that had seen this species where I might expect to see it; they said along roadsides, which is, perhaps unsurprisingly, exactly where I found my first one.

Weekly sightings for Common Roadside-Skipper

Identifying characteristics

Above, this species is a dark skipper with 3-4 spots in a row on the forewing margin and a few other light markings. The fringe on both wing margins is conspicuously checkered. Below, it is dark with a lighter violet sheen, especially on the outer margin of the hindwing. The forewing has 3-4 light spots.

Similar species

The Dusted Skipper is somewhat similar, but it is a lighter brown with more white spots, especially on the hindwing below, and it has no obvious checkered fringe like the Common Roadside-Skipper. The Pepper and Salt Skipper does have checkered fringes, but is a lighter brown and has frosting over the entire hindwing below, and a white spot-band similar to the spot-band of the Cobweb Skipper, although it is somewhat obscure.

Habitat

Woodland edges, roadsides, and barren areas.

Flight

The Common Roadside-Skipper is double brooded and can be found from May until late August. In Butterflies through Binoculars: The East, Jeff Glassberg says the second brood is rare.

Abundance

An uncommon species but sometimes fairly common in a small area.

Late Common Roadside-Skipper Sightings

Date County Reported by
Aug 14, 2019 Dunn Pam Campbell
Aug 15, 2013 Grant Karl and Dorothy Legler
Aug 16, 2013 Iowa Dan Sonnenberg
Aug 22, 2008 Buffalo marcie o'connor
Aug 24, 2008 Iowa Mike Reese, David Reese

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Common Roadside-Skipper
Map key
Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Danbury Wildlife Area, Burnett Co., WI. May 28, 2007.

Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Danbury Wildlife Area, Burnett Co., WI. May 28, 2007.

Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Avoca Wildlife Area, Iowa Co., WI. August 7, 2008.

Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Avoca Wildlife Area, Iowa Co., WI. August 24, 2008.

Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Waumandee Creek Farm, Buffalo Co., WI. July 24, 2008.

Common Roadside-SkipperClick to enlarge

Trempealeau NWR, Trempealeau Co., WI, July 11, 2005.