The Long-tailed Skipper is a species of small, short-winged butterflies found in parts of both the Americas. They are characterized by a large head and a pair of prominent, dark eyes. Like other ‘skipper’ species, biologists consider them to be somewhere between butterflies and moths. When the wings are open, both the long tails can be viewed distinctly, with the dorsal side being brownish black, while the base of the wings shows hues of iridescent bluish-green. The males of the species display a fold along the leading edge of the pair of forewings, which the females lack. There is a dark row on the underside of each of the hindwings, with both forming a complete band. When the wings are closed, they display the same color scheme, except for the bluish-green hue.


Long-tailed Skipper” by John Flannery, licensed under (CC BY-ND 2.0)


Long-tailed Skipper Facts

Butterfly Family: Skipper (Hesperiidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Pyrginae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 3/4 – 2 5/16 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Brushy fields, edges of woods, gardens, and other disturbed open habitats


Long-tailed Skipper Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Various species in the Fabaceae family
    • Hog Peanut
    • Blue Peas
    • Butterfly Pea
    • Hairy Milk Pea
    • Soybean
    • Spurred Butterfly Pea
    • Thicket Bean
  • Beggar’s Tick

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Lantana
    • Shepherd’s Needle
    • Pentas
    • Goldenrod
    • Asters
    • Garden Pansy
    • Zinnia
    • Blue Lobelia
    • Wisterias