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


© Jeremy Gatten     (Photo ID #5991)


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Distribution of Amblyscirtes vialis in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: Butterflies of British Columbia by Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard © Royal BC Museum

Species Information


The Roadside Skipper is a uniform dark chocolate brown on the uppersides of the wings. There is a faint row of median light spots on the dorsal forewing. On the underside, the same brown ground colour appears grey due to the presence of white scales on the outer half of both forewing and hindwing.

Immature Stages

Scudder (1889b) described the immatures. The egg is pale green and wider than high. The mature larval head appears white due to a covering of short white hairs. There are also several reddish brown vertical stripes on the head. The body of the larva is pallid green and has many pale green spots, each with a short hair. The prolegs are pale green.


None. The type locality of the species is western IL.

Genus Description

The name Amblyscirtes may be derived from ambl (blunt) and skirtao (leap), perhaps referring to the short, hopping flights of members of this genus (Bird et al. 1995). The generic common name "roadside skippers" (Scudder 1889b) is derived from the most common species in the genus, "the" Roadside Skipper, A. vialis. The genus Amblyscirtes is Nearctic, with 20 species found mostly from northern Mexico through the eastern United States. Only one species occurs in British Columbia.


In BC the Roadside Skipper is univoltine. It flies from mid-May to mid-June, with occasional females seen until mid-July. Elsewhere in the southern limits of the species' range, it is double-brooded. Scudder mentions the larval foodplant as "grasses."


The Roadside Skipper is found across southern BC and in the Peace River region. It is found in mesic grassy meadows, especially in aspen forest and riparian habitat.



The Roadside Skipper ranges from BC to NS and south in the western USA to central CA and northern NM in mesic habitats, especially aspen forests. In the east it occurs south to TX and FL.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
NativeS5YellowNot 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

General References