European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola)
Description: European Skipper is a small orange skipper. Wings are bright orange above with narrow black borders above and duller unmarked orange below. It is most likely to be confused with the Least Skipper. See the description of that species for distinguishing
characters. Wingspan: 19 to 26 mm.
Maritime Distribution: Throughout Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: SE. NS: SE. PEI: SE.
Flight Period: Late June to late July.
Host Plant: Timothy (Phleum pratense) is the preferred food source, though it has also been recorded on Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata) and Quackgrass (Elymus repens).
Notes: This exotic species was originally introduced in Halifax in the 1960’s in hay brought from Ontario for the Atlantic Winter Fair. Since that time it has spread throughout the
Maritimes. It occurs in large enough numbers that it can become a pest of hay fields. Driving through Sackville, New Brunswick, on the Trans Canada Highway, 300 window strikes were counted over a two mile stretch.
European Skipper can be very common in open weedy habitats including old fields and road edges, feeding on wet soil and flowers. It flies with, and usually outnumbers, most of the other summer skippers and can be easily recognized by its plain, unmarked, orange wings.