Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistolces)
Description: This is a small brown skipper. Males have an elongate black marking (the stigma) surrounded by bright tawny orange on the upperside of the forewing. Several other Maritime skippers have a similar dark marking, but in none of these does it contrast so much with the rest of the wing. Females are dark brown above with orange and beige markings on the
forewing. In both sexes the underside of the forewing is dull orange brown, with a brighter orange patch along the leading edge and paler spots centrally. The hindwing is usually unmarked the female may have a crescent of subtle pale markings.
It is most likely to be confused with the larger Dun and Two Spotted Skippers. See the descriptions of these species for differences. Wingspan: 19 to 28 mm.
Maritime Distribution: Throughout Maritimes. For Atlas results click here.
Provincial Ranks: NB: S5. NS: S5. PEI: S5.
Flight Period: Mid June to late July.
Host Plant: Panic grasses (Panicum spp.), crab grasses (Digitaria spp.), and blue grasses (Poa spp.).
Notes: This species is widespread but rarely seen in large numbers. It can be found in a variety of open grassy habitats. Like other summer skippers it frequently visits the flowers of Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca).