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European Skipper

Thymelicus lineola
Photo Source: http://www.cirrusimage.com/skipper_European.htm

Habitat: The European Skipper can be found on the wing in June and July.  Becoming an invasive species of butterfly, it can be found in the grasslands of central Alberta spreading about 25 km every year.

Description: The European Skipper can be recognized by its bright orange wings marked by dark wing veins.  The edge of the wings are bordered with black.  The aptly named European Skipper is also known as the Essex Skipper in its native habitat.

Size: 22-26 mm

Diet: The mature adults prefer grassland flowers and the caterpillars the grass itself.

Fun Facts: The European Skipper did not arrive in Alberta until 1987 slowly migrating from eastern provinces or from laying their eggs in transported hay bales.


Acorn, John. Butterflies of Alberta. Edmonton: Lone Pine Publishing, 1993. Print

area wildlife + plants

Smooth Fleabane
Erigeron glabellus

Leaves found primarily at base of the plant, dark green, smooth or with short hairs.  Flowers with over 100 bluish pink or white florets on the flower.  Center disk is yellow, and hairy with a green center.


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