Orange European Skippers

2015 December 9

On July 9, 2015, Sam came over and showed me three little orange skippers that she’d caught, and were now tamely sitting on her hand.

They were kind of beat up, so they were most likely sitting there because they were old and tired.

The white flakes on this one’s eye look like scales either from its own wings or body, or from some other butterfly or moth (Sam caught them in her insect net originally, and so there might have been some scale transfer)

We can sort of see the upper surface of the wings in this next picture, enough to see that they are plain orange with not much of a pattern.

This one isn’t quite as tattered as the first one, so we can see the pale line running along the wing edge.

These are almost certainly European Skippers, Thymelicus lineola, which are known as Essex skippers back in the UK where they came from. In eastern Canada and the northeastern US, these have become extremely common, to the point where they are not only the most numerous butterfly in most of the area, but are often more numerous than all other butterflies combined.

The preferred food source for their caterpillars is Timothy Grass, which we have in some quantity, and so of course we have European Skippers in some quantity as well.

One Response
  1. December 10, 2015

    The face and head structure has kind of a disorganized look to it.

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