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!)
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.