Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (9 June 2012)

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains:
Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok)

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (14 June 2012) Butterflies of the Adirondacks: Hobomok Skipper in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (14 June 2012)

The Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok) is a small butterfly that may be seen in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York in early summer. Skippers -- while not true butterflies -- are related to them and are generally considered a type of butterfly. Skippers appear to be intermediate between butterflies and moths. Like moths, they have relatively heavy bodies and dull colors. Like butterflies, they are active during the day. The name reflects the rapidly darting flight of this insect, which seems to skip about over the vegetation. [1]

Some sources refer to the Hobomok Skipper as the Northern Golden Skipper. The name Hobomok is said to be a reference to Hobomok, the chief of the Wampanoag Indians -- a tribe which assisted the English who landed at Plymouth in 1621. [2]

The wings of the Hobomok Skipper are rounded. [3] From above, the male Hobomok Skipper is yellow-orange with irregular black borders. [4] The female is tawny orange. From below, the fore wing is more yellow than from above in both the male and the female. The tips of the wings and the outer margins are dark and may be bordered with violet.[5] The female has two color forms; the brown female (Pocahontas form) is mostly dark above, with a white spot in the forewing cell. [6] [7] The wing span of the Hobomok is about 1.2 inches. [8]

Male Hobomoks perch on leaves and aggressively pursue intruders. [9] Female Hobomok Skippers lay their eggs singly on or near host grass leaves. Caterpillar hosts include various grasses. [10] Adults feed on nectar from flowers such as common milkweed, henbit, and blackberry. [11]

Butterflies of the Adirondack Mountains: Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok) in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House (9 June 2012) Butterflies of the Adirondacks: Male Hobomok Skipper in the Paul Smiths VIC Butterfly House (9 June 2012)

From the ecological standpoint, the Hobomok Skipper is a generalist. [12] It is said to be very common and widespread and has been described as an edge species. [13] It is usually found in meadows, near woodlands and small clearings and trails, and around forest edges. [14] [15] [16] Its range extends from Nova Scotia west across southern Canada to Saskatchewan, south to New Jersey, the mountains of Georgia, Arkansas, and Kansas. [17] Hobomok Skippers were present in the Paul Smiths VIC Native Species Butterfly House in June 2012..[18]

References

Explore the VIC

The Paul Smiths VIC offers a wide variety of programs throughout the year to educate and inform Adirondack Park residents and visitors about the natural wonders of the Adirondack Mountains. You can help support these programs by joining the Friends of the VIC. More information on Friends of the VIC memberships

Explore the Trails

The VIC trails are free and open to the public, from dawn to dusk, spring through fall. In winter, the trails are open to cross-country skiers and snowshoers for a fee. Day or season passes may be purchased.