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

Polites peckius Scudder, 1872
Peck's Skipper
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

© Norbert Kondla  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6192)

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Distribution of Polites peckius in British Columbia.
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Species Information


Peck's Skipper is easily distinguished by the large yellow spots on the ventral hindwing.

Immature Stages

The egg is pale green and round (Saunders 1869b). Scudder (1889b) described the body of the third instar larva as pale brown with minute black spots and a narrow, black dorsal line. Dethier (1940) described the remaining immature stages. The head of the mature larva is distinctive within the genus; the body is dark maroon with light brown mottling and is covered with fine, dark hairs. The mature larva pupated inside a loose cocoon constructed from a bent grass blade. The pupa is dull reddish purple.


None. The type locality is not defined.

Genus Description

The name Polites is from Polites, a son of Priam of Troy and Hecuba. Polites was a swift runner, and perhaps Scudder meant that members of the genus were swift fliers.

The genus Polites is Nearctic, occurring from northern Mexico to southern Canada. The 12 species (MacNeill 1993) are well represented in British Columbia, where six species occur. A seventh species, Polites mardon (W.H. Edwards, 1881), occurs just south, in the Puget Trough of Washington, and is one of the few possible species that did not colonize Vancouver Island.


In BC, Peck's Skipper flies from late June to early August and has only one brood per year. Elsewhere at the southern limits of its distribution, it has two or three broods per year. The mature larva is the presumed overwintering stage. Shapiro (1974b) records the grass Leersia oryzoides as the larval foodplant in New York. This grass is found throughout the range of Peck's Skipper, including BC, in habitat where the skipper is found.


Peck's Skipper is found only in the southeastern corner of BC, from the eastern Okanagan to the AB border, and in northeastern BC. In southeastern BC it is found in moist meadows and the edges of marshes, often with Clossiana selene (Silver-bordered Fritillary).



Peck's Skipper ranges from southeastern BC to central lD in the PNW. It ranges from northeastern BC to Labrador and NF, and from there south to central CO, AR, and GA, with disjunct populations in AZ and TX.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS4YellowNot Listed
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: 2020-06-03 9:57:18 AM]
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