Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)
Description: A very small skipper with very rounded wings, a dark brown forewing and hindwing that is orange above with dark brown margin and entirely orange below. The dark forewing separates it from the European Skipper. Wingspan: 17 to 26 mm.
Maritime Distribution: Throughout Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: S5. NS: S5. PEI: S4.
Flight Period: Double brooded, late June to mid July, mid August to early September.
Host Plant: Various wetland grasses including bluegrass (Poa spp.), Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides), and Canary Reed Grass (Phalaris arundinacea).
Notes: The Least Skipper is typically found flying low in the vegetation in wet grassy areas along streams and rivers, marsh edges, and roadside ditches. It can be recognized by its weak but tireless flight, which helps separate it in the field from the more numerous European Skipper. The species, usually seen in small numbers, occasionally visits flowers but is more typically found perched on marsh vegetation. It has only been a common part of Nova Scotia’s fauna since the 1950’s.