Subject: Butterfly or moth?
Geographic location of the bug: Hazlet Twp NJ
Your letter to the bugman: Please help me to identify this visitor, I like to know who is in my garden. This one is new to me!
How you want your letter signed: Nancy K in NJ
Dear Nancy K,
This is a Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus, in the family Hesperidae, and though it is considered a butterfly, many sources consider Skippers to be a transitional family between Moths and Butterflies since they share physical characteristics of both. According to BugGuide: “Caterpillars feed on members of the Fabaceae (Pea or Bean family)” and the caterpillar is called the “Bean Leafroller.” Your images are gorgeous and your zinnia bed is quite impressive. We are pretty certain you already know that zinnias are one of the best flowers for attracting butterflies.