In adult least skippers, the dorsal (top) side of the forewing is dark, but males have some dark orange. The dorsal hindwing has an orange center surrounded by a dark border. With the wings folded together, the underside typically appears all orange, although the ventral (lower) side of the forewing is mostly dark with orange borders.
As a grass skipper, this species commonly rests with the forewings held open in a V shape, while the hindwings are held out horizontally to the side. They may also have all four folded together so that only the bottom surfaces are visible.
Larvae are green, covered with short, pale hairs; the head is dark brown with pale markings.
Similar species: There are about 130–140 species of grass skippers in North America north of Mexico.