Butterflies of North Carolina

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in HESPERIIDAE:
comNameByssus Skipper by Shay Garriock => 8/23/07 Columbus Co. NC
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sciNameProblema byssus
Link to BAMONA species account.
mapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
distributionDISTRIBUTION: The species is essentially limited in NC to the southern half of the Coastal Plain, mainly in the coastal counties, but it was found in the Piedmont in Crowders Mountain State Park (Cleveland) in 2001, near Jordan Lake (Chatham) in 2008, and at Yates Pond (Wake) in 2011. The species is expanding its range northward, as new records in 2011 came from Wake, Moore, and Hoke counties. New records in 2012 came from Anson, Johnston, and Jones counties; and Richmond County was added in 2013. Union County was added in 2016, and heavily worked Mecklenburg County ought to get its first record very soon. As it is not known from VA or northward, the edge of the range, as now known, is Cleveland, Chatham, Wake, and Craven counties.
abundanceABUNDANCE: Slowly increasing and spreading northward. Uncommon to locally fairly common in the southern coastal counties, but can be common in Croatan National Forest. Rare in the inner Coastal Plain west to Cumberland and Robeson counties, but very rare in the Sandhills region; extremely rare to very rare in the southeastern Piedmont (Cleveland, Union, Anson, Chatham, and Wake counties). The species is a bit colonial, and four or more can be found in a small area of habitat.
flightFLIGHT PERIOD: Two broods, with a small first brood from early June to early July. The main brood is mid-August to late September.
habitatHABITAT: This species is found in tall, moist grassy areas, generally near ecotones of moist woods and open areas. Habitats include savanna edges, margins of swamps and bottomlands, damp powerline clearings, and fresh marshes. Stands of gamma grass (Tripsacum) are a habitat indicator, as this tall grass seems to be the primary foodplant in NC.
plantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Eastern gamma grass (Tripsacum dactyloides) is the primary foodplant in the Southeast, but it certainly must use other grasses, as gamma grass is apparently absent in some areas where the butterfly occurs. The species nectars on many species.
commentsCOMMENTS: This species can be confused with both the Rare Skipper and the Delaware Skipper, which may occur with Byssus. However, the Byssus almost always has a vertical pale patch on the hind wing below, whereas Rare and Delaware are unmarked below. The species was considered to be quite rare about ten years ago, but many colonies or isolated records have been found in the past decade, probably just a matter of more thorough field work rather than a population increase. To find this species, it helps to be familiar with gamma grass, as I found the species twice in the Carolinas in 1997 by first noting patches of this tall grass. Interestingly, gamma grass is found throughout NC, so some other factors limit the butterfly to the southeastern part of the state.

Researchers in SC have found that some female Byssus Skippers there, at least at one to several locales, lack any pale patch/chevron on the under hind wing; they can thus be confused with Berry's Skipper. Whether any "Berry's Skipper" reports from NC are actually Byssus Skippers is not known, though this situation needs further study in NC.

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Pender Co.
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Ed Corey
Comment: Sandy Run SNA, 2007-06-14
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Male, Croatan National Forest, Carteret Co., NC 8/24/03.
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Female, New Hanover Co., NC 8/12/07.
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Croatan National Forest, Craven Co., NC 8/26/2012.
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: Sep 11, 2013. New Hanover Co., NC, NC Battleship Memorial
Byssus Skipper - Click to enlarge