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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Spread-Winged Skippers

White, Common and Tropical Checkered Skippers (Genus Pyrgus)

The general consensus is that Common and White Checkered Skippers can't be distinguished by photos like these, although Ron Gatrelle told me there are subtle differences and that he was pretty sure the first picture on the top was of a White Checkered Skipper.    What is even more confusing is that the White Checkered Skipper is replacing the Common Checkered Skipper in the Southeast.   The IDs of the males below involves some guesswork on my part.

According to Brock & Kaufman (2003), males (presumably of both species) "often" have "sparse blue hair."   It seems that the males have lighter thorax hair than the females.   It's interesting that females seem to outnumber males, especially this year.  My best guess is that female butterflies and skippers always outnumber males towards the end of butterfly season, and Checkered Skippers appear late in the season, peaking in late September and early October in North Carolina.

     
Male Tropical Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus oileus) ID confirmed by Harry LeGrand (see the Butterfly Digest for 10/15/07 ), referring to the prominent egg-hourglass figures on the forewings. Male Tropical Checkered Skipper, Gulf Shores National Seashore, Ocean Springs, MS, 10/14/10      

 

Male White Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus Albescens).  I took this picture in Duke Gardens, Durham, NC.  It is very similar in appearance to the Common Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus Communis) but not identical: Ron Gatrelle is pretty sure that was a male White.  Male Checkered Skipper, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 4/20/07.  It has an abundance of white markings, like the skipper on the left, and much blue hair on the wings.

 

Male Checkered Skipper, Duke Forest, Gate 12, Durham, NC, 9/29/05.   These males have blue-green thorax coloring. Male Checkered Skipper, Duke Forest, Gate 12, Durham, NC, 9/29/05. Male Checkered Skipper, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 10/2/05.  Male Checkered Skipper, Penny's Bend Nature Reserve, 8/23/05. 

 

Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus genus) Female Checkered Skipper, Penny's Bend Nature Reserve, Durham County, NC, 9/20/05. Female Checkered Skipper, Raulston Arboretum, Wake County, NC, 9/23/05. Female  Checkered Skipper, Duke Forest, Gate 12, 10/14/05.

The ventral view shows some differences that might be accounted for by species differences.

Checkered Skipper, Duke Gardens, 9/17/05.  Checkered Skipper, Durham, NC, 10/7/07

Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae)

Wild Indigo Duskywing, Duke Gardens, Durham, NC, 8/18/07.  ID verified by Jeff Pippen.

Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funerealis)

   
Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funerealis), San Antonio Botanical Garden, Bexar County, TX, 5/26/10    

Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus), Carolina Beach, New Hanover County, MS, 11/11/03.  This skipper was hanging upside down from a leaf at night in Carolina Beach, New Hanover County, NC.  I saw another hanging from a glass door at night.  Apparently they use an adhesive material to attach their feet to something before they go to sleep. I saw this Long-Tailed Skipper in downtown Bay St. Louis, Hancock County, MS on 10/7/04.  It's missing its right tail. Long-tailed Skipper, wall at St. Stanislaus College, Bay St. Louis, MS, 10/9/09 

Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)

 
Hoary Edge, Asheboro, NC, 8/18/07  

Silver-spotted Skipper  (Epargyreus clarus) and a mystery skipper

Silver-spotted Skipper, NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 5/29/05 Silver-spotted Skipper, Durham, 7/16/05 Silver-spotted Skipper, Little Scaly Mountain, 8/11/05. Silver-spotted Skippers, Duke Gardens, 7/24/05

 

Alas, an out-of-focus picture of a an unknown skipper, taken at a meadow near the Paseo Pinones trail in Loza, Puerto Rico on 1/9/05.  But it looks like a member of the Epargyreus genus.

 

Northern Cloudywing

Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades), Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 5/29/05

Southern Cloudywing (Thorybes bathyllus)

Southern Cloudywing, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 4/14/06

Common Sootywing (Phalisora catullus)

Common Sootywing (Phalisora catullus), Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, Wake County, NC, 4/13/07 Common Sootywing, north Durham, NC, 8/15/10. Discovered and IDed by Randy Emmitt

Duskywings

Duskywings aren't so much hard to identify as hard to photograph.   Not only do you have to get a good photograph, but one in the same light as those in the butterfly books/websites/whatever.   One thing you learn quickly from photographing duskywings is that there's no such thing as absolute pigment color: everything depends on lighting, and even then no duskywing photo looks quite look real.

Female Horace's Duskywing (Erynnis horatio), Durham, 6/25/04.  This is a common summer butterfly around here. Female Horace's Duskywing, Indian Creek Wildlife Observation Trail, a Jordan Lake Game Land, Chatham County, NC, 4/18/06.  First Horace's I've observed this year! Female Horace's Duskywing (Erynnis horatio), Durham, 6/25/04.  This is a common summer butterfly around here. Female Horace's Duskywing, Duke Gardens, 7/24/05.

 

Male Horace's Duskywing, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 7/6/05 Male Horace's Duskywing, Duke Gardens, 7/19/05 Male Horace's Duskywing, Duke Gardens, 7/24/05. Male Horace's Duskywing, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, 9/18/05.

 

Male Juvenal's Duskywing, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 3/24/11 Juvenal's Duskywing, Eno River State Park, Fews Ford Access, 4/7/05.  This, on the other hand, is a typical spring butterfly. Juvenal's Duskywing, Indian Creek trail, Chatham County, NC, 4/10/05

Juvenal's Duskywing, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 4/25/05.

Juvenal's Duskywing, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Durham County, NC, 4/25/05.

 

This might be a Dreamy Duskywing.  Boone, Watauga County,  8/29/05

 

Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo), Moore's Knob Trail near summit, Hanging Rock State Park, Stokes County, NC, 4/10/10 Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo), Occoneechee Mountain, Orange County, NC, 4/22/05 Sleepy Duskywing, Eno River SP, Durham County, NC, 4/25/05 Ventral view of the butterfly on the left.

© Copyright 2005-2011 Dorothy E. Pugh