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Common Branded Skipper (Hesperia comma)

Description: A medium sized skipper, Common Branded Skipper is orange above with darkened margins. The underside is orange with an olive cast; the forewing below has several white spots near its apex, the hindwing has a submarginal crescent of well defined white dots and scattered white markings in the basal area. Females are much more darkly marked above than males. The distinct, white underside spots and late flight period separate it from other skippers. Wingspan: 22 to 30 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Throughout Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S5. NS: S4. PEI: S4.

Flight Period: Late July to early September.

Host Plant: Fescues (Festuca spp.) and bluegrasses (Poa spp.).

Subspecies: Hesperia comma laurentina, commonly called the Laurentian Skipper, is found from the Great Lakes Region east through the Maritimes.

Notes: Like many skipper species, Common Branded Skipper is found in a variety of open grassy habitats but it flies later than other most orange skippers. It is often seen in coastal marshes and on headlands as well as inland fields and meadows. It is a fast flier and visits flowers frequently. Although it is widespread it is not common.