Atrytone arogos arogos (Boisduval and Le Conte, )
NatureServe Global Rank: G3T1T2
Virginia State Rank: SH
VA DGIF Tier: I
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: The Arogos Skipper is medium in size with yellow-orange based wings that are darker in color towards the outside edges. Males and females are similarly marked although females have an extension of dark coloration. When viewing the ventral side (easily done when they are at rest), the wing fringes are noticeably darker than the rest of the orange wing coloration.
Similar species: The Arogos Skipper may be confused with the Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan) most easily. The dorsal markings of the Delaware Skipper are very similar although more distinctly defined, and the base color is orange; not the paler yellow-orange of the Arogos Skipper. The at rest view (ventral) of the Delaware Skipper displays a fringe that is the same orange as the rest of the wing unlike the Arogos which has noticeably different colors. The Arogos skipper also has wings that point more upward when at rest, as opposed to the less pointed back-oriented wings of Delaware Skipper. Superficially the Arogos Skipper may also resemble the Rare Skipper (Problema bulenta) but is completely unlikely to occur in the same vicinity. Rare Skippers are also much larger and have lighter fringe colors as in the Delaware Skipper.
North American Range: Arogos skippers exist in isolated colonies in central New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Staten Island New York, and Southeastern Virginia, also through some of the Midwestern and Plains States.
VA Observations by Locality: Montgomery
Flight season and broods: Arogos skippers feature one brood from June-July in Northern states and two broods from April-September in the Southern states.
Habitat and Food Plants: These skippers prefer pine savannas, roadside fields, sandhills, barrens, and areas with regeneration burning. Most frequently it is found in very dry open areas that have some lower, wetter areas intermixed. Their preferred host plant is the Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparius) but they have also been known to feed on Pine Barrens Reed Grass (Calamovilfa brevipilis) and Lopsided Indian Grass (Sorghastrum secundum).
Behavior and Ecology: This species is known for being very elusive since it only resides in distinct habitats. Some of these habitats can be far from nectar source so they have been known to travel great distances. Another unique attribute of the Arogos Skipper is that it has been capable of colonizing regeneration burn sites.
Population trend and potential threats: This species is classified as very rare or localized in its habitat throughout its distribution area. It has been on a recent decline and may be extirpated from many of its former sites in the East. Controlled burning may be negatively affecting these small populations.
Management practices: Though they have been known to colonize regeneration burn sites, it has been noted that the species is intolerant of direct fire contact. The effect of controlled burning on the viability of populations needs to be further examined. The pupae reside on the host plants as do the larvae which may have very important temporal effects upon when fires should be used. Certain farming/development may also threaten this species longevity in the East.
References: Cech R. and G. Tudor. 2005. Butterflies of the East Coast. Pgs 310. Princeton University
Gatrelle, R. R. 1994. Survey report of Atrytone arogos. Conducted for U. S. Department
of the Interior Fish & Wildlife Service.
Gochfeld, M. and J. Burger. 1997. Butterflies of New Jersey: A Guide to their Status, Distribution, Conservation, and Appreciation.
Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of butterflies of the United States and Canada with complete bibliography of descriptive and systematic literature. Journal of
Research on the Lepidoptera. Vo1. 40. Pg. 658.
Pyle, R. M. 1981. Field Guide to North American Butterflies. National Audubon Society.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM