Skippers Galore!

What a nice cool morning, for a change, eh? It sure keeps the bugs down for a bit. Happily, I was out yesterday afternoon when the bugs were livin’ large, and it turns out that right here in Estabrook Park we’ve got many more kinds of skipper butterflies, besides the two we’ve already seen, then I even knew existed.

First up is this nicely-understated Crossline Skipper (Polites origenes) with just the slightest hint of a row of light spots on its wings.

Next up is this striking Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) with wings so light yellow it can sport dark spots.

Finally, another look at a Peck’s skipper (Polites peckius) from yesterday and that is almost splitting the difference between light and dark.

One fun detail that I didn’t notice until yesterday afternoon is how these little guys often hold their wings.

As always, the Pedia of Wik explains “adults typically visit flowers and hold their wings together while feeding,” as we saw yesterday. It continues, however, that the subfamily Hesperiinae, which includes these three, “are unique in that they hold their wings partially open while resting, with the forewings and hindwings held at different angles. This is known as the “jet-plane position.”

Also stopping by was this nice and new looking monarch.

This flighty black swallowtail swung by, but didn’t really stop. The purple cornflowers were right there, but he wanted to sip from this red bergamot without taking a break from fluttering.

Well, there you have it. We’re gonna have a short report today because I get to go help someone move this morning, and I hope these colorful little guys can tide you over until next time.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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