Silver-Spotted Skipper Butterflies: 5 Things to Know

Learn more about silver-spotted skippers, including how to identify these butterflies and how to attract them to your backyard.

1. What Do Silver-Spotted Skippers Look Like?

To identify these butterflies, it’s important to know their size and markings. Silver-spotted skippers have a wingspan of 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 inches. The upperside of the wings is dark brown with a long golden orange section toward the center. The hindwings have a prominent silver-white spot.

Need more help identifying butterflies? Here’s a cheat sheet.

2. Where to Find Silver-Spotted Skippers

The silver-spotted skipper is found in most of the continental U.S. and southern Canada near roadsides, gardens, fields and woodland edges.

3. How to Attract Silver-Spotted Skippers

Plant common milkweed, blazing star and thistles to attract more silver-spotted skippers to your garden. Check out these 16 long-blooming flowers for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds.

4. Where Do Silver-Spotted Skippers Lay Eggs?

Their host plants include black locust, false indigo, American wisteria and honey locust. Females lay single green (sometimes appearing white) eggs on or near the plants.

A silver spotted skipper caterpillar sitting on a leaf.JasonOndreicka/Getty Images

5. What Silver-Spotted Skipper Caterpillars Look Like

A yellow body and a brown-red head with bold eye spots help skipper caterpillars stand out. To attract more butterflies to your backyard, plant at caterpillar cafe in your garden.

Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is an editor, writer and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She’s been with the magazine since 2019 and with Trusted Media Brands since 2012. She brings more than 10 years of editorial experience to Birds & Blooms and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. In her role, Molly works closely with bird experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman and gardening expert Melinda Myers, in addition to the Birds & Blooms freelance writers. Molly was featured in a May 2023 episode of The Thing With Feathers birdwatching podcast. She's a member of the nonprofit Friends of Wehr Nature Center in Franklin, Wisconsin, a popular location for birdwatching in southeastern Wisconsin. She goes out birding often and is still hoping to spot a tufted titmouse in the near future.