This skipper is most abundant in the southeastern United States with Nebraska records being at the northwestern most edge of its range. So it is always a treat to find them in Nebraska where it goes unreported most years. The Nebraska Natural Heritage Program has this species listed as S2, indicating that they consider it to be imperiled our state. Joanne Langabee has been seeing an occasional Zabulon Skipper for the past couple of weeks in the Omaha area where it had been found numerous times over the past 100+ years. But on August 23 Lori Tomes found a male Zabulon Skipper, Lon (formerly Poanes) zabulon, in Saunders County where it had not previously been reported. Saunders is the 17th county where this butterfly has been found with the majority (13) of them being in the eastern edge of the state, the other four being York, Hall, Buffalo and Furnas Counties. It has been found several times in Buffalo County with sightings being decades apart. Doug Long also found one in Holbrook (Furmas County) in 2004.
Thanks to Lori for sharing her finding and pics. This year appears to be one of the few and far between opportunities to observe/report this butterfly. It prefers moister open woodlands and woodland borders. Your chances of seeing this butterfly increase the farther east you are but records into the southcentral areas of the state means observers should be aware in other areas as well. If you you sight one (or more) let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.