Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Discussion of 2018 gathering

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Photos from the 2010 Workshop in Grinnell, Iowa

Photos from the 2009 gathering in Washington


Species Thymelicus lineola - European Skipper - Hodges#4012

 European Skipper - Thymelicus lineola Not sure - Thymelicus lineola European Skipper - Thymelicus lineola - female European skipper? - Thymelicus lineola European Skipper - Thymelicus lineola Skipper - Thymelicus lineola Hesperiidae - Thymelicus lineola Garita Skipperling? individual #2 - Thymelicus lineola
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Hesperiidae (Skippers)
Subfamily Hesperiinae (Grass Skippers)
Tribe Thymelicini
Genus Thymelicus
Species lineola (European Skipper - Hodges#4012)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Essex Skipper (Europe, the name used in its native range)
Explanation of Names
LINEOLA: a Late Latin word, diminutive of the Latin "linea" (a line); lineolate means "marked with minute, usually parallel lines" - a reference to the thin black lines near the outer margin on the upperside of its wings
the most abundant butterfly in many places in the east, often outnumbering all other species combined
the only species in this Eurasian genus occurring in North America
wingspan 25-29 mm (1)
in Canada, wingspan 19-26 mm (Butterflies of Canada)
Adult: bright brassy orange above with narrow black borders on both wings, and ends of veins outlined in black; male has very narrow black stigma, and female usually has thin vertical black vein at end of forewing cell
below, forewing is pale orange and hindwing is grayish-brown
very pale specimens (form "pallida") are seen occasionally

Larva: green with dark dorsal stripe and whitish subdorsal and lateral stripes; head whitish-green with three vertical reddish-brown bars with two white bars between them
Holarctic (1). Native to Eurasia. It has spread throughout northeastern United States and to every province in Canada. In Washington it was first seen in 2000. It is becoming the most common skipper and considered a threat to Polites peckius.
most abundant in agricultural areas where Timothy Grass is grown for hay, but also present in just about every kind of grassy area in the range, including city parks and gardens, forest trails and clearings, marshes, bog edges, and roadsides in every habitat
adults fly from early June to mid-July in most places (to mid-August in Newfoundland)
Timothy grass (1) plus Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) and Couch Grass (Agropyron repens)
Life Cycle
one generation per year; eggs are laid in groups of up to 30 on leaf sheath or seed-heads of host plant; overwinters as an egg - the only North American skipper to do so
Accidentally introduced to North America in 1910 at London, Ontario. (1) (viable eggs were present in imported seeds of Timothy Grass)
Print References
Opler, p. 365, plate 35 (1)
Internet References
pinned adult and live larva images plus description, distribution, food plants, biology, flight season, etc. (Butterflies of Canada; CBIF)
Works Cited
1.A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides)
Paul A. Opler, Vichai Malikul, Roger Tory Peterson. 1992. Houghton Mifflin Company.