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Monday, June 4, 2012

Hesperiidae - only 3500 to Choose From

OK, I have a cute little butterfly. Rainfield was just talking to one of his cousins at Funnier Than Me. Not a big surprise. This is a skipper, family Hesperiidae, with over 3500 species worldwide. Fortunately (for me) most of them are in the tropics.

Hobomok Skipper

My newest butterfly book (thanks, Elaine!) shows 83 species in Eastern North America. Better yet, only 24 of those are likely to be in Michigan. That narrows it down to either the Zebulon or Hobomok Skipper.

Hobomok Skipper

It looks slightly more like the Hobomok Skipper, and the flight period is a better match- late spring to early summer.

Hobomok Skipper

Well, he thinks the hoary vetch tastes yummy. I'm just happy to get a good picture. The name "skipper" comes from their rapid, nervous flight pattern. If you looked at rainfield's picture, you instantly got the idea that they have really big eyes. So, at least you can easily ID most any skipper, that far. They are about an inch or maybe a little more across!

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john bain said...

Looks very mothlike.

Unknown said...

Furry looking little guy!

Tracy Moore said...

How cute he is! Great photos.

Lynn Proctor said...

i am seeing yellow everywhere lately--gorgeous!

Ann said...

My what big eyes he has. You got some really good shots there

Lin said...


I've noticed that there aren't as many butterflies around like a few weeks ago. Dang, it's a strange year for nature.

Sharkbytes said...

John B- it does, but the antennae are not feathery.

John Y- I think all the skippers look a bit like they are on drugs.

Tracy- I love his proboscis!

Lynn- He's more orange, but yes.

Ann- point camera, click till the butterfly flies away. Hope.

Lin- I'm learning that quite a few of them migrate, or they have certain sets of weeks they are moving around.

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