Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Description: Our largest skipper, the Silver-spotted Skipper is the only skipper found in the Maritimes with a large silver spot on the underside of its hindwing. It is unlikely to be confused with other species. Wingspan: 37 to 45 mm.
Maritime Distribution: Probable vagrant. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: SNA. NS: -. PEI: -.
Flight Period: Early June to late July in most of its Canadian range. Occasional second brood.
Host Plant: Primarily Black Locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) but also other legumes including Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata), Groundnut (Apios americana), and Showy Tick-Trefoil (Desmodium canadense).
Subspecies: Only subspecies clarus occurs in Canada.
Notes: It is known from a single specimen collected at Moore’s Mills in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, by J. Edsall in early August 1982. Although Black Locust, the preferred host plant, is present in that area, the worn condition of the specimen and the rather late date of capture indicate a probable vagrant from the south. Silver-spotted Skipper is resident in southern Maine and in Quebec as far east as Quebec City.
The Silver-spotted Skipper’s powerful flight makes it difficult to follow when on the wing. However, observation is made easier by the species’ habit of frequently perching and visiting flowers.