31 August 2007

Palm skipper

dun skipper1

I photographed this skipper about 10 days ago near College Park, Maryland. When I first saw it, it was on a sidewalk by a busy road. As I approached it, it got scared and flew onto the road. Right then a car passed by and the skipper disappeared. I walked over feeling guilty that I had pushed it to an untimely death. Then I saw that it had survived and was sitting on the road. I was able to pick it up with my fingers and carry to a nearby plant-I think it was a little dazed after its encounter with a car.

dun skipper2

I am not sure what it is. It comes closest to the dun skipper (Euphyes vestris). All the other common skippers around here have some dots or other marks on the lower surfaces of their wings. However, the Butterflies and Moths of North America site describes the habitat of the dun skipper as "Wet areas near deciduous woods such as meadows, seeps, swamp edges, and streams." I found it near a rather dry grassy strip with sparse trees near a road.

Previous skipper posts on Snail's Tales:
Common Checkered Skipper
Peck's Skipper


Brenda said...

Could it have been a hitchhiker? The poor thing looks a little raggedy, as if it could have spent time riding behind someone's bumper.

The Dun seems to have more yellow on its head than the butterfly in your photo.

This is a long shot, as the Berry's is rare, but compare your photo to the images here: http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/butterflies/berrysskipper.htm

The Berry's Skipper is found along the Outer Banks of NC...a prime vacation destination for many Marylanders.

I want a bumper sticker that says, "I brake for butterflies".


It suppose it could be a Berry's, but according to Glassberg's Butterflies Through Binoculars: "Whether there is a resident population along the North Carolina coast is unknown...Most commonly found in Florida."

...Kat said...

great action on your part :-)

and great story

Anonymous said...

This is a Swarthy Skipper. Notice the small size and the pale veins on the wings. The color can be variable below- from yellowish to brown, this one is worn and still shows a hint of the yellowish scales around the some of the veins on the hindwing.