Skipper’s on Display

Silver-spotted Skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper

Fiery Skipper

Fiery Skipper

I present today a couple of skippers. Skippers (family Hesperiidae) make up about one third of the species of butterflies in North America, but they don’t get as much press as the larger and more colorful types. Their characteristics include: small size, a heavy body, big head, and fast flying. They mostly perch with their wings upright, so it is difficult sometimes to see their upper wing patterns. Many of them are small and poorly marked. Even experts cannot always identify them to species in the field.

The two pictured here are Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) in the top photograph, and a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) below. These are two of our most easily identified skippers. Each is about three fourths of an inch long. Note their long proboscis that they use to probe for and suck up nectar.


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