E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Euphyes vestris Scudder, 1872
Dun Skipper; Sedge Skippers
Family: Hesperiidae (Skippers)
Species account authors: Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard.
Extracted from Butterflies of British Columbia
The Families of Lepidoptera of BC
Introduction to the Butterflies of BC

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6078)

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Distribution of Euphyes vestris in British Columbia.
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Species Information


The dorsal forewing of the male Dun Skipper is uniformly chocolate brown, with a black stigmal patch. At most, there is a slight tan flush around the stigma. The Dun Skipper can be confused only with the male Tawny-edged Skipper, in which the tan flush usually extends to the costal (front) edge of the forewing. The median spots on the dorsal forewing of the female Dun Skipper are very inconspicuous compared with those on the female Tawny-edged Skipper. The ranges of the two species overlap in the Chilcotin area of BC between Lillooet and Riske Creek.

Immature Stages

Heitzman (1965) described the immatures of the eastern populations. The egg is green. The body of the mature larva is pale green, with overlying fine white lines. The front of the head is caramel brown with two vertical light bands. The back is black with a dorsal oval spot.


BC populations are the nominate subspecies, E.v. vestris; TL: Spanish Ranch Rd., Meadow Valley, Plumas Co., CA (Emmel et al. 1998a). The eastern subspecies may eventually be found in southeastern BC.

Genus Description

The name Euphyes is derived from Euphues, an Athenian youth who was elegant and handsome. The common name for the genus was coined by Scott (1986) to reflect the fact that many species in the genus feed on sedges. The genus Euphyes is primarily Neotropical, with 20 species (Shuey 1994). A few species occur in temperate North America, and one is found in British Columbia.


In BC the Dun Skipper flies from late June to mid-August in one brood. Time of flight is keyed to the time when summer begins on the coast, a highly variable event. Further south, there are two generations per year. Elsewhere the only known foodplant is the sedge Cyperus esculentus (Heitzman 1965). This plant and other Cyperus occur in BC, and the Dun Skipper should be looked for on this and other sedges.


The Dun Skipper is known from southern Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Fraser River canyon upstream to Lillooet. Except for the Lillooet population, the species has been encountered only as single individuals in mesic grassy areas, often along old railway right-of-ways. The single Lillooet observation was at a spring surrounded by an extremely xeric area. The spring area had enough sedge to support a population of the Dun Skipper.



The western subspecies is found from southwestern BC through western WA to CA. The eastern form occurs from southern SK to NS, and south to AZ and FL.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS2RedT (Apr 2013)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2019. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2021-04-16 6:24:31 PM]
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