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For information on Wisconsin's rare vertebrate animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
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Jay Watson
Conservation Biologist

Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus)


There is no overview information available for that species.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Byssus Skipper (Problema byssus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.

Documented locations of Problema byssus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/N
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY

Species guidance

Identification: A large skipper with a pale medial band on the hindwings below. Above the male veins are often lined with black and the female has little orange dorsally.

Habitat: Bluff prairie in Wisconsin. Found in both sand prairie and silt loam prairie in Illinois (Panzer).

Nectar Source: Nectaring on black-eyed susan in Grant Co.

Host Plant: Andropogon gerardi in Illinois. Uses eastern grama grass (Tripsacum dactyloides) in Missouri.

State Distribution: Collected once in Grant County.

Global Distribution: Found in IL and IA along major rivers, MO, KS, and IN. Another range extends along the coastal plain from TX to FL up to VA where the species inhabits coastal wetlands.

Status Comments: Very restricted distribution.

Phenology: Late June and July.

Life and Natural History: Branded skipper (Hesperiinae) larvae build shelters that are made of tied leaves or in the base of the hostplant from which they go out at night to feed. The byssus skippers overwinter as fourth stage larvae. Pupation occurs within a dense cocoon at the base of the hostplant.

Inventory, Monitoring and Research Needs: Foodplant is unknown for certain.



Byssus Skipper

Byssus Skipper, male below - Hardscrabble State Natural Area, Lafayette County.

Photo © Mike Reese.

Byssus Skipper

Byssus Skipper, male above - Hardscrabble State Natural Area, Lafayette County.

Photo © Mike Reese.

Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with Byssus Skipper. Only natural communities for which Byssus Skipper is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Natural community Score
Dry Prairie 3
Dry-mesic Prairie 2

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for Byssus Skipper. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of Byssus Skipper occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.

Ecological landscape score
Western Coulee and Ridges 3

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Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

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Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

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Last revised: Thursday, October 08, 2020