New Jersey Butterfly Club

A chapter of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA)

Hobomok Skipper

Poanes hobomok

Identification: Very small—FW ≥0.6". Above: Male FW mainly orange-yellow with wide, dark trailing border, dark veins, and dark, S-shaped mark attached to dark tip. FW of normal female is similar to male's but with brown toward base of wing. In both sexes HW has orange center crossed by dark veins and surrounded by dark borders. Pocahontas-form female is dark brown above with a pale FW "bracelet" and additional small pale spots, including an isolated spot along the leading edge. Below: Normal-form sexes similar: HW with brown base and brown trailing border enclosing a large, unspotted yellow patch. Pocohontas female is purplish-brown with "ghost" of normal yellow patch on HW. Similar skippers: Zabulon male has narrower dark borders on FW above and neither wing has dark veins crossing the orange; below, yellow patch on HW has several reddish-brown spots. Zabulon female above has large, glassy spots in FW and lacks isolated spot; below, HW is rich, mottled brown with a white outline along leading edge.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Widespread and fairly common in North Jersey south to Middlesex and Mercer counties; rare to absent on the Coastal Plain.

NJ Range Map-Hobomok Skipper

Habitat: Grassy openings and edges in or near woodlands.

Flight Period: Mid-May to early July with a peak from late May through mid-June. Extreme dates: North Jersey 5/5—7/30.

Caterpillar Food Plants: Panic grasses—e.g., Deertongue (Dicanthelium clandestinum).

Overwintering Stage: Caterpillar.

Good Locations: High Point SP, Appalachian Trail Lands, Whittingham WMA, Hilltop Reservation.

Comments: Approximately 25% of females are the dark Pocahontas form. Loves to nectar on Wild Geraniums (Geranium maculatum)—a lovely native spring wildflower of wood edges.

Hobomok Skipper

Male, Wildcat Ridge WMA, Morris Co., NJ, 5/21/06.

Hobomok Skipper

Fredon Twp., Sussex Co., NJ, 5/15/10.

Hobomok Skipper

Pocohontas form female, Kittatinny Valley SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/9/12.

Hobomok Skipper

Pocohontas form female, High Point SP, Sussex Co., NJ, 6/6/08, on Wild Geranium.