Hesperia ottoe
Ottoe skipper

Key Characteristics

The Ottoe skipper has a wingspan between 1.14-1.6 inches (2.9-4.1 cm). The male uppersides are orange with brown borders and a black stigma (specialized scent scales on the forewings). Females have uppersides bright brownish orange with several yellowish white spots. The undersurface of the hindwing is yellow-orange; no markings in the male, sometimes with faint markings in the female.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G3G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Allegan82011
Barry31989
Montcalm42003
Newaygo62001
Oceana22013
St. Joseph11981
Distribution map for Hesperia ottoe

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

In Michigan, the Ottoe skipper occurs in remnant, dry sand prairies and open oak barrens where native warm season grasses occur. These areas are usually dominated by grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), poverty grass (Danthonia spicata), and fall witchgrass (Leptoloma cognatum). Forbs commonly found in Ottoe habitat include blazing star (Liatris aspera), prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), butterflyweed (Asclpeias tuberosa) various asters (Aster spp.), black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta), lupine (Lupinus perrennis) and dotted monarda (Monarda punctata).

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management

Habitat protection and enhancement are essential to the conservation and long-term survival of the ottoe skipper in Michigan. Habitat destruction from off-road vehicles, agricultural and silvicultural practices, and development continues to threaten this species. Immediate action should be taken to protect existing populations from further habitat degradation and loss. Fire suppression has encouraged the closing of formerly open-canopied oak and oak-pine barrens and reduced the size and quality of adjoining sand prairies. Managing the prairie and barrens communities, especially through carefully controlled fires.

Active Period

Flight from third week of June to third week of August

Survey Methods

The best way to survey for this species is by meandering thorough potential habitat while checking nectar sources or perches such as tall forbs and grasses. Adults are quite wary, flying swiftly and low to the ground when disturbed. Because there are many similar-looking skipper species, it is recommended that voucher specimens are collected and verified by a species expert to confirm species identity.

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Jul 22, 2017]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract

References

Survey References

Technical References

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