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:
comNameOcola Skipper by Scott Hartley => Weymouth Woods-SNP, 2006-10-12
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
sciNamePanoquina ocola
Link to BAMONA species account.
mapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
distributionDISTRIBUTION: Throughout the Coastal Plain and Piedmont; scattered records for the southern half of the mountains. Only two records for the northern mountain counties, and perhaps absent from a few of them. It may be simply a visitor to most mountain and upper Piedmont counties, as the species is quite migratory.
abundanceABUNDANCE: Very erratic in time and place, as it is partly migratory. Along or near the southern coast, it may be common to abundant in fall. Elsewhere in the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont, it averages fairly common, but may be quite uncommon in some years and occasionally common in others, in late summer and fall. Rare to uncommon and sporadic farther west in the Piedmont, but rare in the southern mountains; very rare at best in the northern mountains.
flightFLIGHT PERIOD: The flight period is essentially a single one (presumably composed of two broods) from midsummer through the fall, mainly from mid-July to late August, and late August to mid-November, rarely to early December. Peak numbers occur in October. There is a tiny brood in the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont in late May and June.
habitatHABITAT: As with nearly all southern migrants, Ocolas are not particularly choosy in habitat, but will occur wherever nectar plants are abundant. Near the coast they can occur in dunes, maritime shrub thickets, vacant lots, roadsides, fields, savannas, gardens, etc. Farther inland, they can be found in powerline clearings, weedy fields, gardens, and other places with an abundance of flowers. Some references indicate a preference for damp places; I have not noticed this preference in NC, though they are not normally seen in dry longleaf pine/scrub oak habitats.
plantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Grasses are the main foodplants. The species nectars frequently; common flowers are camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris), sea lavender (Limonium), groundsel-tree (Baccharis), and others. I have seen dozens nectaring on mountain-mint (Pycnanthemum incanum) in Umstead State Park. Most of the 150 that Jeff Pippen and I saw in September 2002, and the 800 I saw in November 2003, were nectaring on lantana.
commentsCOMMENTS: This species can occur in swarms! It is unpredictable from year to year, and from site to site. I was stunned to find at least 35 in a single hour along a powerline clearing at Umstead State Park. However, it is near the coast where numbers can truly be impressive, especially in October, when it is possible to find over 50 in a few hours. I found over 100 a day in savannas at Holly Shelter Game Land in fall 1995; however, 1996, 2000, and 2001 were rather poor flight years for most migrant species, including the Ocola Skipper. The species had a boom year in 2003, and again in 2014 (100 records for the Piedmont alone and an excellent 67 records for the less well-worked Coastal Plain). Other boom years were in 2015 and 2017, with at least 150 total reports in the state; and 2016 was nearly as good, with 135 reports and our second highest one-day count (395 individuals). Other good flights were in 2002 and 2012.
other_nameLong-winged Skipper

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Ocola Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Randy Newman
Comment: Fort Macon State Park, 2003-09-10
Ocola Skipper - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Ocola Skipper - Click to enlarge