The family Hesperiidae includes all butterflies that are collectively called skippers
because of their fast skipping flight. This family is the sole member of the Superfamily
Hesperioidea. Whereas, the other five families of butterflies belong to the Superfamily
Papilionoidea. So, skippers are considered butterflies, but they have a few traits
different than the species of “True” butterflies found in the Superfamily Papilionoidea.
Some of these traits include large eyes, short antennae (often with hooked clubs)
and stout bodies. Most also have a very rapid flight with a fast, almost blurred,
wing beat. There are about 3,500 species of skippers and they’re further divided
into seven subfamilies. They occur worldwide with more found in the tropics. Most
species are brown or tan, but some tropical members can be quite colorful.
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Poanes hobomok belongs to the subfamily Hesperiinae. This species is found from
Nova Scotia west across southern Canada to central Alberta then south to New Jersey,
northern Georgia, Arkansas, central Kansas and eastern Oklahoma. An isolated population
ranges from central Colorado to northern New Mexico. Its preferred habitat includes
openings and edges of damp woods, edges of bogs, light gaps along streams and city
The larval food source includes various grasses such as panic grasses, Panicum sp.
and bluegrasses, Poa sp. To await receptive females, males perch about 6 feet above
ground on vegetation in woodland clearings. Females deposit eggs singly on or near
the host grass leaves, which are eaten by the caterpillars.