Tropical Checkered Skipper and Sleepy Orange

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.

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