Sunday, July 18, 2010

Skippers

By mid-day the coneflowers (Echinacea) in the perennial garden are in full sun and bustling with activity. Bees, flies, butterflies, hummingbirds, bugs of various sorts are gathering nectar and pollen or hunting for food.


Although less glamorous than the Brushfoots that I mentioned yesterday, the skippers are lively among the flowers. They skip from flower to flower with quick, perky flights, hence their common name. Their bodies are large compared to wing size. When resting or basking, they hold their forewings vertical and hindwings are spread. Most all butterflies hold both sets of wings either vertical or spread when resting, so skippers can be confused with moths, but butterflies they are -- family Hesperiidae.


If you look close at the photo above (click to enlarge) you will note a few other skipper features: large eyes, long proboscis, and hooked antennae.

Yesterday afternoon the skippers were busy gathering nectar. While feeding they hold both sets of wings vertical.


These, I think, are Dun skippers, Euphyes vestris. They are uniformly dark gray/brown and about once inch in size. Despite their dull colors, they still look lovely among the coneflowers.

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