Carterocephalus palaemon

Common Name
Arctic Skipper

The Arctic Skipper is not truly arctic, but is circumboreal, occurring in cool, wooded, usually streamside habitats across northern Eurasia and North America. Our transect is right at its southern range limit in California. There appears to be a small population near Washington, Nevada County which was discovered only a few years ago (though it was probably there all along; it occurs at low density and is not seen every year). There may be others on the West slope in similarly cool, wet, shaded places. Adults sit in sunflecks and visit flowers, particularly native vetches which they pitch up onto from below. The larval hosts are presumed to be native grasses. There is one brood in early summer (May-July).