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Fall Fund Drive


Species Atalopedes campestris - Sachem - Hodges#4049

Snack time - Atalopedes campestris - female Skipper - Atalopedes campestris - male Sachem Pair - Atalopedes campestris - male - female unknown skipper - Atalopedes campestris - female Unknown Skipper - Atalopedes campestris - female Skipper on Western Wallflower - Atalopedes campestris - female Brown spotty skipper butterfly - Atalopedes campestris - female Skipper - Atalopedes campestris
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)
Genus Atalopedes
Species campestris (Sachem - Hodges#4049)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Atalopedes campestris (Boisduval)
Orig. Comb: Hesperia campestris Boisduval, 1852
se US spmns have been treated as subspecies huron by some authors, but this population is not sufficiently distinct to warrant subspecific recognition. [Butterflies of Canada]
Adult: upperside of male forewing yellowish-orange with wide brown border and large rectangular black stigma. Female has smaller black stigma with square transparent white spot at distal end. Female hindwing underside has medial band of squarish cream spots on yellowish-brown ground color
Larva: head black; body dark olive green with dark brownish dorsal line and tiny darker bumps [adapted from description at Butterflies of Canada]
Resident in southeastern United States, and extreme southwest, Mexico. Fall migrant northward into great plains, along west coast, rarely reaching southern Canada.
Almost any open space: fields, meadows, parks, roadsides, disturbed areas, lawns, etc.
Two or more flights in south; migrant in north. April-June, July-October (North Carolina). August-October (upper midwest, northeast). All year in Florida and southern Texas.
Larvae feed on various grasses, including Bermuda Grass (Cynodon dactylon), crabgrass (Digitaria), St. Augustine Grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), and goosegrass (Eleusine).
Adults take nectar from flowers of many herbaceous and shrubby plants.
Life Cycle
Three to five generations per year, depending on latitude and local conditions. Males perch on ground in grassy areas to look for females. Females lay single eggs on dry grass blades in the afternoon.
The Sachem, Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), and Whirlabout (Polites vibex) are called the "three wizards" by butterfly-watchers.(1) Perhaps one has to be something of a wizard to identify them as they flit about on fall flowers.
See Also
Resembles skippers of genus Hesperia but antennae more hooked than in Hesperia.
Female of Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna) lacks distinct medial hindwing band.
Print References
Glassberg, p. 181, plate 57 (1)
Brock, p. 302 (2)
Scott, #500, p. 448, gives details of life history. (3)
Internet References
Works Cited
1.Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East
Jeffrey Glassberg. 1999. Oxford University Press.
2.Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.
3.The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
James A. Scott. 1992. Stanford University Press.