Sandhill Skipper

Polites sabuleti

Order: 

Lepidoptera

Family: 

Hesperiidae

The Polites sabuleti is a common, rather variable species.   The sandhill skippers display sexual dimorphism to distinguish between female and male individuals in respect to reproduction.  While the male coloration is yellow-orange color with darker black borders, the female has heavier dark markings with some transparent spots.  For both, the hindwing underside coloration is yellow-tan with dark chevrons between the veins in addition to the wing span ranging from 2.2 - 3.2 cm.  Sandhill skippers remain sitting all day within low grass areas while females lay eggs on hosts or close-by plants.  More specifically, the habitats where the species can be found include moist meadows, salt marshes, lawns, and sand dunes.  On a broader scale, the geographic distribution ranges from Southern British Columbia and eastern Washington through California and northern Arizona to Baja California.  Addition locations in which the sandhill skipper can be found include Wyoming, central Colorado, and northeastern New Mexico.  One fun fact includes that the name skipper comes from their flight patterns in which the species tend to skip from place to place with very fast wing movement (1).

 

(1)“Sandhill Skipper.” Butterflies and Moths of North America, Metalmark Web and Data, https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Polites-sabuleti.  

Habitat:

  • Sand dunes