On Sep 7, 2007, debnes_dfw_tx from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
The Dusted Skipper is lightly scattered about most of the states except in the west. They have one brood in the north from May-June, and 2 in Florida from Mar-Oct. The females lay their eggs on leaves of Little Bluestem, (Andropogon scoparius), and Big Bluestem, (A. gerardi). When caterpillars hatch they build small tents by silking leaves on host together around themselves. Full grown cats then pupate in leaf litter below for about 8 days in spring/summer. In fall they hibernate or (overwinter) in their crysalids within a sealed nest under the leaf litter.
While researching to add this skipper to the bug files, it was almost mistaken for the CS. However I have specified 2 of the tell tale distinctions to save time for others.
1)The DS has a tiny stigma on ventral hindwing, and one or more tiny white dots on ventral forewing. On CS such dots are absent. 2) The DS has a distinctive white mask around the eyes, which CS does not.
If you see a Dusted Skipper take care. They are not very common and have few broods. If anyone here has a lead on where to get bluestem please dmail me.