Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus and Peck's skipper (Polites coras)As you can see above, the butterfly bush is still in bloom and attracting butterflies. Today, the bush and the asters were full of painted ladies, sulphurs, and skippers. Butterflies are divided into two superfamilies, the Papilionoidea (true butterflies) and the Hesperioidea (skippers). All the butterflies mentioned previously on this blog have been members of the former, or true butterflies.

There are 62 species of skippers known in Illinois, out of a total of 260 or more in America north of Mexico. Skippers are differentiated from true butterflies by their clubbed antennae, widely separated at their base and many with a little curve at the end, by their stout hairy bodies, and proportionately smaller wings. They tend to beat their wings very fast resulting in fast, darting (or skipping) flight.

The photo above shows a silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on the left and a Peck's skipper (Polites coras) on the right, with a busy bumblebee in between. The Peck's skipper is also shown below.Peck's skipper (Polites coras)

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