Other Common Names
H. l. pawnee is referred to as the Pawnee Skipper. H. l. montana is known as the Pawnee Montane Skipper.
There are three subspecies: H. l. leonardus, H. l. pawnee, and H. l. montana.
Wingspan 28-34 mm (Layberry et al.)
The nominate subspecies is easily recognized by the reddish hindwing underside with a white spot band. The Pawnee subspecies has a yellow-orange hindwing underside with a reduced to lacking yellow spot-band. The Pawnee Montane subspecies has the underside brown with cream spots, and occurs only in a small area of Colorado (USGS).
The species as a whole occurs in southern Canada and most of the eastern United States. The nominate subspecies occurs from Nova Scotia south to North Carolina and Louisiana, and west to Saskatchewan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. At the western edge of its range it intergrades with the Pawnee Skipper, which extends further west to Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. The Pawnee Montane Skipper occurs only in the South Platte River drainage in Colorado. (USGS and CBIF)
Pawnee Skipper is found in dry prairie, while the nominate subspecies can be found in open fields and openings and edges in forests. (Layberry et al.)
Flies late in the season, a single brood in late August and September (Layberry et al.)
Caterpillars feed on perennial grasses. Adults nectar on flowering plants. (Layberry et al.)
The subspecies H. l. montana is listed by the USFWS as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
Layberry et al. - Butterflies of Canada
for Pawnee Montane Skipper