Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Skipper Question

So finally here is the Skipper post I've been threatening for a while. There really couldnt be much else, seeing as its been raining solidly for a week and a half until today.

There are lots and lots of skippers here, Back in the UK there are barely a handfull to have to ID. But here Butterflies of Virginia and the Carolinas lists over sixty. Now a few of these are very distinctive, others are reasonably so but majority are little orangey-brown jobs that the experts have problems telling apart even in the hand.

See..little orange brown jobbies. Im really not sure of them.

But I have got a few I'm sure of over the last couple of years.

This bright little specimen with the spots is the Fiery Skipper.

The Clouded Skipper has the three distinct dots in a line on the forewing and then has that gray to lavender 'clouding' too.

 This very pale one with the long white dash is the Salt Marsh Skipper. We're surrounded by salt marshes so it a pefect spot for them.
These Sachem Skippers are probably the commonest in the yard. But they are getting into that grey area where one looks a lot like another so perhaps they just seem to be so common.

This one isn't a visitor every year and I havent seen one at all so far this year but theres no mistaking it for any of the others. The Long Tailed Skipper Urbanus proteus
 is the only member of its genus found so far north. The rest are tropical. And it has a positivly tropical look with that iridescence on the body and the base of the wings. Theres no mistaking this one'

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