Butterfly Atlas Species Accounts

Butterfly Atlas data collected from 1986-1990

Clouded Skipper

Lerema accius

Named

J.E. Smith,1797

Identification

Wingspan: 1 and 3/8 to 1 and 1/4." In Massachusetts, this species is most likely to be confused with the similar Dusted Skipper (Atrytonopsis hianna). The latter species‘ early flight would not coincide with the most likely time Clouded Shippers might appear in the state. Both, however, are dark skippers with white markings on the forewings and frosty dusting below. Accius lacks the characteristic white spot on the hindwing below as well as the white "eyebrows" of A. hianna. On accius the hindwing below has distinct blotches, with fresh specimens displaying a clouded, lavender hue on the trailing edge (also on ventral forewing).

Distribution

Southern Texas east along the Gulf Coast to coastal South Carolina. Colonizers and strays northward to southern Illinois and Indiana eastward through Kentucky and Virginia and reaching as far north as southern New England.

Status in Massachusetts

No recent records. Klots (1951) mentions southern New England and Massachusetts as within this species range. Glassberg (1993) cites a "major irruption . . . in to the northeast" in the fall of 1991 with five records for the New York City area.

Flight Period in Massachusetts

Year-round in Florida and Texas. Perhaps most likely to occur in our area in late summer and early fall.

Larval Food Plants

Grasses.

Adult Food Sources

Information for this species in Massachusetts is currently unavailable.

Habitat

Open grassy areas; also woodland and wetland edges

Life Cycle

Species does not reproduce in Massachusetts.

Account Author

Brian Cassie