Currently viewing the category: "Skippers"
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Subject: Indian or Hobomok skipper?
Location: Great Falls Park, Virginia
August 24, 2014 4:27 pm
Looking at various sources, I am not sure one can tell the difference, but do you have an opinion as to whether this is an Indian or Hobomok Skipper? Both look just like what I photographed as far as I can see. No other angles, unfortunately, as didn’t move until it flew off. …
Signature: Seth

Skipper

Skipper

Hi Seth,
We are posting your excellent image of a Skipper in the hope that one of our readers can provide you with an identification.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly/Moth? from Peru
Location: Central Peru
January 4, 2014 7:54 pm
Dear Bugman,
I took this picture in the cloudforest of central Peru, and I have no idea if this is a kind of butterfly or moth or something else. Can you help me? Thank you once again!
Signature: Frank

Long Tailed Skipper

Long-Tailed Skipper

Hi Frank,
This sure looks like the North American Long-Tailed Skipper,
Urbanus proteus, but without doing any research, we cannot be certain if the range extends to Peru or if this is a related South American species.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “‘Argentina north through Central America, the West Indies, and Mexico to peninsular Florida and South Texas. Occasionally strays and colonizes north to Connecticut, southern Illinois, eastern Kansas, southern Arizona, and southern California.’ (Butterflies and Moths of North America).”  Taxonomically, Skippers are classified as butterflies, and they are thought of as an evolutionary transition between moths and butterflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth ID, please
Location: SW Nassau County, NY
December 27, 2013 7:08 am
I shot this last August on Long Island, NY.
Love seeing the reach of the proboscis?
Signature: Carl

Skipper

Peck’s Skipper

Hi Carl,
This is not a moth, but rather a Skipper, a member of the butterfly family Hesperiidae, a group that has traditionally been considered an evolutionary transition between the more primitive moths and the more advanced butterflies.  Alas, we are not very good at species or genus identification of Skippers, which according to BugGuide are:  “Generally small, mostly orange or brown butterflies with short fat bodies, hooked antennae and rapid, skipping flight. Some species (chiefly Spreadwing Skippers, subfamily Pyrginae) hold their wings in a single flat plane, many others hold hind wings flat and forewings at an angle.”

Update
Thanks to a comment from Richard Stickney, we now know that this is Peck’s Skipper,
Polites peckius, which is pictured on BugGuide.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly ID
Location: Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve , California (34.1725, -118.4692 )
July 29, 2013 9:02 pm
I photographed this one at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve (Van Nuys, California) on March 5, 2013. I’d like to know what it is. Thanks!
Signature: Talila

Mournful Duskywing

Mournful Duskywing

Dear Talila,
We were away from the office between July 30 and August 16 and we did not respond to any identification requests during that time.  We are now trying to respond to a small fraction of the identification requests we received in that time and posting the most interesting submissions.  We quickly recognized your butterfly as a Duskywing Skipper, but we were not certain of the species.  Imagine our surprise when we found your request answered as a male Mournful Duskywing,
Erynnis tristis, on BugGuide.  Unlike BugGuide, since our editorial staff does all the actual posting on our site, we like larger images that we can crop ourselves.  Insects are not isolated from their environments.  Insects are part of the complex web of life that exists in the myriad distinct ecosystems that comprise the microhabitats that can exist in a single acre. This includes plants and other creatures that form food chains and symbiotic relationships.

Many thanks for your answer!
BTW, it wasn’t me who asked about this butterfly at BugGuide. My friend, Yael Orgad, who was hiking with my on that day had asked about it there and had I remembered she did I would have simply asked her …
I’ll be happy to send you the original, uncropped image if you are interested in posting this.
So which one is it, the skipper or the mournful Duskywings?
Talila

Hi Talila,
The Mournful Duskywing, your butterfly, is one of the Skippers, a family of Butterflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery skipper?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
July 1, 2013 11:14 pm
Hello, I briefly saw this butterfly today in our garden, and was only able to capture two fairly clear photos. I think it’s a skipper, but can’t find the species. The closest I found online were a Fawn-spotted Skipper (Cymaernes odilia) seen on http://www.naba.org/sightings/archives/February2002Archive/FawnspottedSkipper.htm, or a Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) seen on http://bugguide.net.  Gorgeous weather, a cool front in July, wow! Eighty degrees! The butterfly visited a native hibiscus that has smallish leaves and flowers. I love the pollen on the butterfly’s legs, great pollinator! (By the way, the big, gorgeous swallowtails keep mocking me, and fly off over the rooftops and into the taller trees when I aim my camera their way, sigh. Who knew they could fly so high? I didn’t!)
Signature: Ellen

Skipper

Skipper

Hi Ellen,
We rarely try to identify Skippers to the species level because there are so many different species that look alike.  Both of your suggestions seem possible, and we would prefer to leave that identification to the experts.  We have encountered the same problem with Western Tiger Swallowtails which love to fly around the garden, but never seem to alight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly
Location: Morgantown, WV
April 30, 2013 6:17 pm
Hello Bugman!
I found this pretty thing in the road, probably stunned by a car strike. So I picked it up and set it in the sunshine after a taking a couple of pictures. I’ve seen this kind of butterfly before but haven’t been able to successfully identify it. I am thinking it might be a kind of skipper, but I’m only guessing. I would love to know what this is. They are pretty early here in WV, though I have seen quite a few cabbage whites and tiger swallowtails this week. Thank you again for your fantastic website!
Signature: Bugwatcher Guitry

Duskywing, we believe

Duskywing, we believe

Dear Bugwatcher Guitry,
You are correct that this is a Skipper.  It looks to us like one of the Duskywings in the genus
Erynnis, however, it doesn’t seem to perfectly match any of the species pictured on BugGuide.  BugGuide does note:  “The genus Erynnis (Duskywings) is probably the most difficult group of North American butterflies to identify in the field. However, the identity of a particular individual can often be narrowed to a few possibilities by noting the habitat and examining the range maps for each species (see INTERNET REFERENCES section below). A further critical comparison of an individual’s key field marks to those in reliably identified images is often enough to arrive at a certain or near-certain ID; examination of the genitalia may be required in some cases but is usually not necessary when the preceding steps have been taken with due care.”  The closest match, in our opinion, is Horace’s Duskywing (see photo on BugGuide), which is a wide ranging species reported in West Virginia.  According to BugGuide its habitat is:  “Open woodlands and edges, clearings, fencerows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, roadsides.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination