Currently viewing the category: "Skippers"

Pale green spider with red stripes
Hello! While in San Antonio, Texas this month I noticed this spider on my parent’s backyard deck. Can you identify it?
Sheila Ryan

Hi Sheila,
This is a Crab Spider. They do not build webs. They are often found on flowers and are also called Flower Spiders. Crab Spiders are in the family Thomisidae. This specimen has captured a Fiery Skipper.

Hi Bugman,
I found this moth in our garden last weekend. We live in Perth, Western Australia. It was fairly small (approx. 200mm long). I couldn’t get a phot of the wingspan. What is it?> By the way, great website! I love taking photos of insects, so you might get a few more queries from me.
Anna Lloyd

Hi Anna,
This is not a moth. It is a Grass Skipper, a butterfly in the subfamily Hesperiinae.

Um… two more. This one’s a pair of mating butterflies…
… but inland on Vieques. They’re maybe 2″ in diameter, and hairy as a pair of moths, but their antennae say “butterfly”, don’t they?

Hi Jim,
These are Checkered Skippers in the genus Pyrgus. Skippers are classified as butterflies.

leaf-footed bug, moth
Hi Bugman!
Here are 2 photos from a recent trip to Panama – a gorgeous leaf-footed bug (I think it’s Anisocelis flavolineata, according to your site) and a diurnal (?) moth I’d love your help identifying…. thanks, your fan, as always.

Hi Allison,
Thanks for sending you beautiful photos. The Leaf-Footed Bug is Anisocelis flavolineata, which is also called the Flag Footed Bug. The “diurnal moth” is really some species of Skipper.

Update: (02/13/2007)
Hey Guys, In reference to this unidentified butterfly below, I think I’ve got it. I asked Will Cook at Duke U., and below is his response. Red-faced Firetip (Pyrrhopyge zenodoros)
Eric Duran
Staff Naturalist
Nature Discovery Center

some help with your rss problem.
I was checking your wonderful website for updates, which I do every day (keep up the good work!), and I noticed a reader had asked you about having an rss feed, and you said you would check with your web host. There is a free rss service available from that will let you easily add an rss feed to your site for FREE. It is totally advertisement free as well. Keep up the good work. You have one of the coolest websites I know! Also, I thought you might like these photos of a crablike spiny orb weaver enjoying a large meal in my backyard (Austin, TX, last fall). I saw the little guy’s massive web shaking from far away. He was very excited.

Hi Bobby,
Thanks for your kind letter and RSS suggestion. We will research this possibility. Also, thanks for sending us your photos of the Crablike Spiny Orb Weaver female feasting on a Skipper. Like other Orb Weavers, Gasteracantha cancriformis females are the larger, commonly seen members of the species. Males are considerably smaller and less visible.

I shot these photos at my home in south Texas and was wondering if you could please help me id them. THANKS

Hi Danny,
We don’t recognize your Skipper in the Butterfly family Hesperiidae. We have never seen a Skipper with red spots and believe it might have strayed north from Mexico. We will see if Eric Eaton recognizes the species.

Guava SKipper (11/14/2006)
Hey Guys, I think this is a Guava Skipper (Phocides polybius). I’ve encountered it a couple of times while butterflying/birding in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I think it’s an occassional vagrant in South Texas, from Mexico.
Eric Duran