Staphylus hayhurstii (Edwards 1870)
Status: Infrequent to rare breeding resident.
Flight: Double brooded, with adults flying from late May to mid June and from mid July to early August. Rarely a partial third brood will occur in early September.
Distinguishing features: This small dark brown skipper has scalloped wing edges in fresh specimens. The fore wing below appears to have a checkered fringe. Unlike its close look-alike the Common Sootywing, Pholisora catyllus, S. hayhurstii rests with wings outspread against the surface of the substrate, which is reminiscent of some moths and metalmarks. It is also a lighter brown than P. catullus. Wingspan: 2.3-2.5 cm.
Distribution and habitat: Map 70. The Hayhurst's Scallopwing appears limited to the southern half of the state. It is most often encountered in sandy floodplain forests of river birch. It has also been sighted in Loess Hills forests and wooded groves adjacent to sand prairies.
Natural history: Most recent sightings of this species are of single individuals. Although its larvae have been reported to eat various members of the goosefoot family, including lamb's quarters, the actual host plants in Iowa remain undocumented. The Scallopwing's scattered occurrence and relatively high level of habitat fidelity suggest that it consumes a related species, which is less ubiquitous in the modern landscape.
Questions: What adaptive benefits are provided by resting with wings open and flat? What host plans are actually utilized by this species in the state? Do populations reside in floodplain forests or simple use these habitats as migrational corridors?