Thursday, 19 January 2017

European skipper information

European skipper (Lepidoptera: Thymelicus lineola) was introduced to North America several decades ago and has been moving west and north in its distribution.  Specimens confirmed as T. lineola were collected in 2016 near Valleyview, Donnelly and High Prairie (2017 Otani and Schmidt, pers. comm.).

There is one generation per year and the five larval instar stages cause damage associated with defoliation of the upper leaves of timothy.  In 2015, European skipper larvae were observed feeding in the flag leaves of winter wheat near Mayerthorpe (2015 Meers, pers. comm.).  

A pdf copy of the European skipper pages has been extracted from the 2009 Alberta Forage Manual for printing and a screenshot is included below so growers and agrologists can familiarize themselves with the larval stage, the damage to the upper leaves of timothy (which can resemble grasshopper damage), and the larva's habit of tying the sides of a leaf together.

You can link to Insects of Alberta where R. Bercha has posted a wonderful photo of an adult!