|scientific name Hesperia nevada |
common name Nevada Skipper
Mixed-grass and fescue prairie of the foothills and aspen parkland.
The peak in flight activity occurs in late June and July.
Distinguishing species of the genus Hesperia can be a challenge even to the experienced lepidopterist; differences in wing markings are subtle, and are best appreciated by looking at series of individuals from any given locality. The Nevada Skipper can usually be distinguished from other Alberta Hesperia by the ventral hindwing maculation: the spot nearest the abdomen is offset towards the wing base, compared to being more or less in line with the adjacent spots in other Hesperia. The earlier flight period and slightly larger size also helps to separate this species from the Common Branded and the Plains Skipper (H. comma manitoba and H. assiniboia). The female Nevada illustrated in Bird et al. (1995) is actually H. colorado (N. Kondla, pers. comm.).
The dull white eggs are laid several centimeters above the ground on the stalks of native grasses. First stage larvae are yellowish cream, becoming olive-green with cream markings as they mature (Bird et al. 1995). Adult males frequent hill- and ridgetops (Hooper 1973, McCabe & Post 1977, Bird et al. 1995). There may be a second annual brood during August in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (Layberry et al. 1998), and possibly also in Alberta. The Nevada Skipper is an uncommon and local species. Although reported to inhabit short-grass prairie by Layberry et al. (1998), it is rare or absent in this habitat in Alberta.
May be sensitive to loss of native grassland habitat.
Squirreltail, needle grass, june grass and fescue (Sitanion, Stipa, Koeleria and Festuca, respectively) (Bird et al. 1995). Adults take nectar at Astragalus flowers (McCabe & Post 1977).
Southern B.C. east to southeastern Manitoba, south to New Mexico (Opler 1999).
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