Currently viewing the category: "Skippers"

I need help identifing this Pyrginae. I think it’s a cloudywing or duskywing but not sure of species. Thank you,
Patrick Schmitt

Hi Patrick,
Well, we agree with Subfamily Pyrginae, the Spread Winged Skippers, but we do not feel confident taking this to the genus level, much less species.

Hi guys,
The genus would be Erynnis for Patrick’s skipper, but the species is hard to determine. Loving your site,
Dave Fallow
Madison, WI

images of fiery skipper??? not sure
Dear Bugman,
just wanted to share a few more images, hope you don’t mind. all these are from last summer (2005). i think the butterfly is a Fiery Skipper?? (longtail???). anyway, it is sipping lunch from my white Heliotrope. thanks for letting me share!
karen hackney
wilmington, NC

Hi Karen,
The Fiery Skipper is one species in the group known as Grass Skippers, subfamily Hesperiinae. They are distinguished by the position of the wings while resting, which your photo nicely illustrates. We have a difficult time distinguising individual species in this subfamily

tropical checkered skipper
Hi there —
I didn’t notice this one in your nifty collection yet. This male tropical checkered skipper is actually rather small, only about an inch and a half across. Were it not for the ability to take a close photo, I’d never have identified it. There are lots of these around. This was taken in my back yard. The butterfly below the skipper, however, I have been unable to identify. It was a fast mover, and this was the only half decent photo I could get, on a bad angle, as you can see. It was perhaps the size of a cabbage butterfly. I wish I could have gotten a shot of it with wings open, but it was not to be. Any ideas?
Joanne Wilson
West Palm Beach, FL

Tropical Checkered Skipper Sleepy Orange

Hi Joanne,
Your letter represents two new species for us. The Tropical Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus oileus, is a southern species. According to our Butterflies through Binoculars Book by Jeffrey Glassberg: “You’ll need your close focusing binoculars and some patience to get good looks at these animals, but your efforts will be rewarded.” WE are almost certain your other butterfly is a Sleepy Orange, Eurema nicippe. The name sleepy does not refer to the flight which is quite frisky, though close to the ground. Sleepy refers to spots on the wings that resemble closed eyes. The food of the caterpillar is cassia.

big black moth?
Hi Bugman,
I am wondering if you can identify a bug for me? It is in a photo that a friend sent me from their trip to somewhere near Puerta Vallerta, Mexico. It looks like a large black luna moth (in shape). It has white markings on it’s forwings, and long trailing hindwings. I am attatching a photo, but it isn’t the graeatest. I’ve searched on line for the name of this insect, which I am assuming is a moth, and I can’t come up with anything. I’d be ecstatic if you could identify it for me!!
Thank you,
Lonna Stauffer

Hi Lonna,
This isn’t a moth, but a Longtailed Skipper, a butterfly in the family Hesperiidae that is sometimes referred to as an evolutionary group between butterflies and moths since they possess characteristics of both moths and butterflies. They are not large, despite the appearance in the photo. Longtail Skippers generally have a wingspan under two inches.

Photos for your site
I have some photos of butterflies for your website. I see you don’t have these species.

Polydamus Swallowtail Longtailed Skipper

Thank you so much. The image you have labeled Spicebush Swallowtail is actually a Polydamus Swallowtail, Battus polydamas. The Longtailed Skipper is Urbanus proteus.

Hi again Daniel,
Here’s a shot of a couple of fiery skippers engaged in who knows what. I’m assuming the male on the right is checking the female to see if she is ready to mate. I never saw any mating going on. The female worked her way around the flower stopping now and then to vibrate her abdomen and wings with the male close behind. I’ve been seeing this behavior for several days and finally was able to get a shot of it. Photographed in Atlanta, GA on 8/6/05.
Bill DuPree
Atlanta, GA

Hi again Bill,
Your images are always such a treat. All you have to do is look and the money we spend on perfumes and colognes to know that scent is an aphrodesiac. Your Fiery Skippers are relying on natural pheromones as an aphrodesiac.