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Species Page - Carterocephalus palaemon
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scientific name    Carterocephalus palaemon    

common name     Arctic Skipper

Inhabits clearings, meadows and open woods in the boreal, parkland and mountain regions.

One brood per year, with peak flight activity from early June to early July depending on habitat.

This mid-sized skipper (wingspan 20 - 30 mm) is unmistakable with its brown and orange checkered pattern. Although Layberry et al. (1998) assign all Canadian populations to subspecies mandan, mountain populations are larger and darker, and the name magnus has recently been applied to these populations (Guppy & Shepard 2001).

life history
Eggs are greenish-white, and mature larvae are creamy white with a dark dorsal and lateral stripe (Bird et al. 1995). The mature larva overwinters, and the pupa resembles a piece of dead grass (Bird et al. 1995). Males of the Arctic Skipper perch on grass stalks.

Not of concern.

diet info
Although a large number of broad-leafed grasses have been reported as larval hosts, many of these likely refer to larvae fed in captivity, and the number of hosts used in nature are likely few (Layberry et al. 1998). Eggs are laid on brome grass (Bromus spp.) and reed grass (Calamagrostis spp.) in Michigan (Nielsen 1999).

The Arctic Skipper occurs throughout most of Canada except the high Arctic, from Alaska to Newfoundland, south along the mountains to California and Wyoming. In the east, it ranges south to the Great Lakes states and New England (Opler 1999). It also occurs in Eurasia.

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References (4)
Specimen Info
There are 61 specimens of this species in the online database
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Specimen List (61)


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