Ancyloxypha numitor    

common name     Least Skipper

Restricted to wet meadows and streamsides.

Possibly double-brooded, with a late Jun to early Jul and an Aug to Sep flight.

The small size (19 to 25 mm wingspan), weak flight, in combination with a dark fore- and orange hindwing make this quite a distinctive skipper.

life history
Unknown in Alberta; The egg is yellow with a reddish middle band (Bird et al. 1995). Mature larvae are light green with white patches and lines, a brown head, and live in shelters constructed from grass blades (Layberry et al. 1998). Adults have a weak flight, and fly in amongst tall grasses (Layberry et al. 1998).

Status undetermined; may be a rare stray.

diet info
In Manitoba, Least Skipper larvae feed on bluegrass (Poa spp.) and Rice Cutgrass (Leersia oryzoides) (Layberry et al. 1998), and in North Dakota on Giant cutgrass (Zizaniopsis miliacea) and bluegrass (Poa spp.) (McCabe & Post 1977). Of these, only bluegrasses occur in Alberta (Moss 1992).

Eastern United States and southeastern Canada west to extreme eastern Saskatchewan (Layberry et al. 1998, Opler 1999). The only known Alberta record (3 July 1909) from Lethbridge (Bird et al. 1995) is well outside of the known range, and may represent a stray individual.

species page authorSchmidt, B. C. 

quick link


Logo Department of Museums and Collections ServicesLogo University of Alberta