Tag Archives: Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)
Silent Sunday – Enjoying The Summer Garden
Wordless Wednesday—Glimpse of Summer
Take time to look up!
Butterfly Journal For 11/13/2021 – 11/18/2021
Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 2 observations, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 599 (30 species)*.
[*Including a Painted Lady seen in town the overall 2021 annual butterfly total is an even 600 (31 species).]
Butterfly Sightings 11/13/2021 – 11/18/2021
11/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
11/13/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
Last Sunday, November 13, was our first morning waking up to temperatures below freezing. It was also the only day of butterfly activity detected in my garden this week. A glorious late-morning sighting of a fresh, male monarch sent me outdoors to document this late arrival.
The butterfly flew in and among the beds tasting a number of plants along the way, including dianthus.
For a time it settled in the meditation circle attracted to verbena bonariensis and eventually to cleome. Determinedly fighting a gusty wind the butterfly resembled someone in a storm wrestling an unwieldy umbrella.
Throughout the week the thermometer readings dipped a few times again below 32F, but ironically we had beautiful and warm days with highs reaching to mid-70s. Seeing the monarch Sunday lifted my expectations that a few more stragglers might wander through, but searching most days among the remaining flowers yielded no further butterfly treasure.
One afternoon I saw a good number of yellow jackets reigning over the camellias, while two sluggish carpenter bees had the chrysanthemums to themselves. Lady bugs flew by (some are creeping into the house) and, so it goes.
After spending months looking so closely inward toward the garden, in the early hours of this morning my attention focused skyward to observe the full Beaver Moon of November 2021 in the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years. Around 4 a.m. EDT, near the peak of the eclipse, I joined my fellow curious humans to observe the moon 97% covered by the Earth’s shadow. Bathed in a reddish glow our planet’s natural satellite was resplendent as it cast light over this little garden.
Hope awe and wonder filtered through your life this week.
Butterfly Journal For 11/05/2021 – 11/12/2021
Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 6 observations, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 597 (30 species)*.
[*The overall 2021 annual butterfly total to 598 (31 species).]
Butterfly Sightings 11/05/2021 – 11/12/2021
11/9/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
11/12/2021 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae 1
11/12/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
11/12/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
From a window on Tuesday I spotted a Cloudless Sulphur floating above the garden for a minute or two, but it quickly moved on without making a stop. There are still a few floral enticements it might have tasted: saliva, lantana, a few zinnias and cosmos. Or how about some fresh button chrysanthemums? Yesterday a Fiery Skipper found a sunny spot to pause among the flowers of this passalong plant.
After a busy week it was a relief to spend some time in the garden yesterday afternoon. The day was sunny and mild. I planted narcissus, hyacinths, muscari and allium yesterday—still a few more bulbs to place.
A butterfly drew me outside. I had spotted it earlier but it didn’t stay. When it returned (presumably it was the same one) it paused among a large planting of shasta daisies before moving through the garden. I couldn’t get very close to it but I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see a Cabbage White! This was the tenth one of 2021 and the first one here since mid-July.
While trying to photograph the Cabbage White I noticed skippers in front of me. I shifted the camera toward them just as the Cabbage White took off and felt their touch. I’ve never had a butterfly land on my hand before, much less two. It was a sweet moment but the timing was decidedly awkward.
I helped them settle back onto lantana.
Autumn color exploded this week and throughout the neighborhood and along our routes around town the views have been spectacular. The last time I wrote a butterfly journal entry there was a prediction for our first freeze that never materialized. Tomorrow (Sunday) a hard freeze (30°F.) is expected.
Butterfly Journal For 10/22/2021 – 10/28/2021
Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 7 observations (2 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 590 (30 species).
Compared to the previous report this is 3 more observations but 2 fewer species. Nectar sources are still available for any last minute guests but the butterfly party is closing down for this year.
Butterfly Sightings 10/22/2021 – 10/28/2021
10/22/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 3
10/24/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
10/27/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
Frequent visitors to the garden since mid-June, Fiery Skippers are uncommon now.
On October 22, 2021, I was particularly happy to see 3 monarchs feeding at the lantana. This male had a unusual light coloration on it’s right upper wing.
At one point it moved perilously close to ensnarement by a huge orb spider. Alarmed, I disassembled the web quickly but was unable to relocate the spider. A master at escape, it simply dropped out of sight. The next day it’s web was rebuilt and once again I took it down. One thread of the web is visible in the lower left quadrant of the photo below.
Butterfly season has been an enriching time here in my little garden this year. Thanks to all for sharing this little adventure.
Butterfly Journal For 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021
Butterfly sightings have dwindled significantly. Since my last Butterfly Journal report I recorded 7 observations (6 species), bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total for my garden to 579 (30 species).
Butterfly Sightings 10/08/2021 – 10/14/2021
10/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
10/13/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
10/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
10/14/2021 Cloudless Sulphur – Phoebis sennae 1
10/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
We had one satisfying rain a week ago, just following my last report’s lament on how dry it had been. (It came Friday, October 8 and well into Saturday.) Then a series of days marked by heavy, portending gray clouds gave way to clear blue skies without producing rain.
There have been few photo opportunities this week. Precipitation brought a sigh of relief and optimism, but did not bring out butterflies here. Plenty of flowers for them to feed on are still available should they arrive.
My dahlias are double or semi-double which are not as easy for insects to feed upon as single dahlias would be, but zinnias and lantana are plentiful. (I ordered several singles but they didn’t survive.)
I spotted one little hairstreak this week resting atop my passalong chrysanthemums, which are full of buds.
Last year I saw an occasional butterfly into mid-November so I am hopeful the 2021 list will expand by a few more entries.
Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.
Butterfly Journal For 9/12/2021 – 9/16/2021
Since my last report I recorded 21 observations of 9 species, bringing the 2021 annual butterfly total in my garden to 494. These past 5 days have been decidedly more interesting than the previous two weeks were—I had one first-of-year sighting (Clouded Skipper) and one first-of-life butterfly (White M Hairstreak).
Butterfly Sightings 9/12/2021 – 9/16/2021
9/12/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
9/13/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
9/13/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
9/13/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
9/13/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 1
9/14/2021 Pearl Crescent – Phyciodes tharos 1
9/14/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
9/14/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
9/14/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/14/2021 Clouded Skipper – Lerema accius 2
9/14/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 2
9/15/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 2
9/16/2021 White M Hairstreak – Parrhasius m-album 1
9/16/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/16/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
Seen at separate days/times, here are the three hairstreaks I saw this week: White M, Gray and Red-banded. These are small butterflies about the size of my thumbnail. Their presence was not limited to one plant, but at different times each had settled on Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage) at some point, making for a nice collection of images.
I photographed five Red-banded Hairstreaks during this reporting period across several days, so some may have been the same individuals.
I have been seeing butterfly reports and images from others about sightings of White M Hairstreak nearby, but was very surprised to find one in my garden. Its abundance in North Carolina is listed as “rare to uncommon, but widespread,” having been recorded across 2/3 of the state, just not in great numbers. This one will be added to my first-of-life list (when I get around to retroactively creating it). Can you spot the “M”?
There were a lot of large active carpenter bees working the salvia. Occasionally the bees and the hairstreak shared the same stem for a moment until, like in the game musical chairs they scrambled for a new seat. Unlike in musical chairs there was room for all.
I first saw a Gray Hairstreak this year on July 3, but had seen none lately until yesterday. This one looked very fresh and was cooperative as I took pictures as it performed its acrobatics.
Soon after Kris last week mentioned seeing mostly Clouded Skippers in her Los Angeles garden and I replied I hadn’t seen any this year, one serendipitously popped up. When I initially saw it I had assumed I was photographing an Ocola Skipper, but iNaturalist suggested Clouded. The next day I saw a couple more.
I have not seen more Clouded Skippers since Tuesday but yesterday did see an Ocola. It zeroed in on a last bit of goodness from a worn stem of verbena bonariensis.
A brief encounter with this Pearl Crescent was the first since April 10. The butterfly quickly disappeared before I could get a good picture, so the evidence is a heavily cropped image.
Other species seen this week:
I love the way the cheerful way the zinnia’s color reflects here onto the silver spot in this last image. Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.
Butterfly Journal For 8/28/2021 – 9/11/2021
Since my last report I recorded 28 observations of 7 species, bringing the annual butterfly total in my garden to 473. During this decidedly unexciting 15-day period, sightings overall were down with Fiery Skippers accounting for 12 of the 28, nearly 43%.
It has temporarily cooled off a bit but remains extremely dry. A friend who lives 30 miles away experienced 2.5 inches of rain in one-half hour Thursday, causing a short-lived flash flood in her backyard, while we had barely enough rain to dampen the ground. Clouds have passed right by us all summer.
Butterfly Sightings 8/28/2021 – 9/11/2021
8/28/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/28/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/28/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
8/29/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/30/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/2/2021 Dun Skipper – Euphyes vestris 1
9/2/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 2
9/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
9/2/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
9/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
9/6/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
9/8/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
9/10/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
9/10/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
9/10/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 5
9/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 2
9/11/2021 Black Swallowtail – Papilio polyxenes 1
Recently solo Monarchs have entered the garden, swept through the borders quickly and exited quickly without regard for the already dejected, resident paparazzi. Similarly, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails which are usually plentiful by also are sailing past rather than enjoying the delights of lantana and zinnias the garden table is offering. This monarch took an interest in verbena bonariensis.
The garden’s first Dun Skipper sighting since 2015 made it into this report. As is true with many of the skippers, I needed help with this ID. iNaturalist suggested a different species, but the yellow-gold on top of the head and few spots on the forewings helped my resources agree it is a Dun female.
After feeling rather disappointed about the current state of butterflies a mid-afternoon visit today from a spectacular Black Swallowtail has lifted my spirits. The butterfly was beautiful and appeared quite fresh.
Also hanging out in the garden in early September are huge spiders, anoles, bumblebees, birds, hummingbird clearwings and ever hopeful dragonflies.
Back to butterflies, this Ocola was particularly cooperative in posing.
Happy Butterflying or enjoying nature in any way you can.
Butterfly Journal For 8/1/2021- 8/6/2021
In what has proved to be an underwhelming butterfly week I recorded 52 observations, bringing the annual total to 351. The sightings this week were limited to 7 species (all previously recorded this year): Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Monarch, Silver-spotted Skipper, Fiery Skipper, Ocola Skipper, Horace’s Duskywing, and Sachem.
Butterfly Sightings 8/1/2021- 8/6/2021
8/1/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/1/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/1/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/1/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 4
8/1/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
8/2/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 8
8/2/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/2/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/2/2021 Monarch – Danaus plexippus 1
8/4/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
8/4/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
8/4/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/4/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/5/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
8/5/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
8/5/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2
8/5/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/5/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/5/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1
8/6/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 2
8/6/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 11
8/6/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 3
8/6/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
We finally had a couple days of cooler weather. The temporary relief from the summer’s heat was welcome yet poignant. I’m never ready for summer to end but already I sense it. On one day in particular when I searched for butterflies the stillness in the garden was almost eerie.
Rain started falling yesterday evening and this morning there is a nice steady shower—precipitation has been passing us by for weeks, even when areas nearby received several inches at a time.
In the garden little is blooming except a handful of annuals (zinnia, cosmos), Common lantana, and Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush). Verbena bonariensis has mostly gone to seed and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is headed to seed too, bringing in lots of American goldfinches. The few dahlias that managed to survive this year are doubles, not as attractive to pollinators as the single form.
Early in the week two monarchs passed in and out of the garden, too quickly for more than a just a glimpse. Most butterflies noted this week were little skippers. I had help identifying this skipper as Sachem. So many look alike and in my garden most of these little ones turn out to be Fiery Skippers.
I have taken lots of pictures of Fiery Skippers but I was surprised to catch this one in flight with open wings. I usually catch them nectaring with wings either closed or partially open.
Although Common lantana appears to offer pollinator appeal, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan), which took a lot of years to become established, is attracting Fierys and other insects regularly.
It is nice to see some butterfly activity around the new-this-year Salvia nemorosa ‘Blue Hill’ (Meadow Sage). I’m having a hard time staying on top of deadheading it though—seems very needy.
Ocola Skippers are often seen in the garden. They have long forewings and I read they may feed while hanging upside down—like this one.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the only species of larger butterflies I could photograph this week. Seeing missing portions from the hindwing makes me wonder what all these creatures must endure, what narrow escapes they make.
Some of the individuals are quite tattered and many are also worn. A fun fact gleaned from a Leps social media group explains the difference between fresh and worn: fresh butterfly wings are loaded with scales (think layers of shingles on a roof) that wear off. The butterfly wings rubbing together over a few days results in scales wearing off and causing the colors to fade — in most species. I haven’t done this but supposedly if you were to run your finger across a wing, you would get some color smeared on your finger, as you have gotten some scales on you it.
Here is a very worn duskywing and a fresher one.
I do hope to see more different species. Last year I was informally keeping track and saw 7 species in August that I have yet to record this year. It will be interesting to see if butterflying picks up next week.
Butterfly Journal For 7/2/2021- 7/12/2021
The number of butterfly sightings around pbmGarden has increased recently, perhaps simply because I am actively searching for them 2-3 times most days. Since my last report I have recorded 33 individuals from 10 species. The species are all normal for this region at this time of year.
07/03/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
07/03/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2 Common lantana; echinacea
07/04/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1 Echinacea
07/04/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/05/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/05/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 Common lantana
07/06/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1 Echinacea
07/07/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 females (thanks to H. LeGrand for ID – 1 nectaring on common lantana; 1 on monarda
07/07/2021 ?Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 on peony leaves
07/09/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/09/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/09/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 2 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); Common lantana
07/09/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/10/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 2 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 1 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) [Update note: originally listed as Sachem; identified on Inaturalist as Fiery Dec 29, 2021)
07/11/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1 Common lantana
07/11/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Common lantana
07/11/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/11/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/12/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Common lantana
07/12/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/12/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
I am taking many photographs to help with identifications. Here are some representative butterflies seen during this period.
There have been 9 Horace’s during this period. Below is a fresh female and the following two images are a more worn female.
Same individual as above.
Two views of same American Lady…
Skippers are difficult for me to identify. I have not noticed Sachems before this year. Either I haven’t seen them, I ignored them or possibly I mistook them for Fiery Skippers.
Silver-spotted skippers are easy to identify and are frequent visitors to my garden.
Common lantana is in full bloom now, starting to attract many insects including this Ocola skipper.
The “silver” spot is not visible in this picture. I took this photo this morning and appreciate the butterfly choosing a color-coordinated background.
For 2021 I have observed 100 individuals from 19 species.
There are 177 species known for the state of North Carolina and 105 in my particular county of Chatham.
Butterfly Journal For 6/25 – 7/1/2021
[Note to self: Last Butterfly Journal entry title was dated 6/18 – 6/24 but actually included 6/25. Repeating 6/25/2021 entries.]
With very dry conditions it has been another slow week for butterfly sightings in my garden. (For purpose of synching my record keeping the first four listed are actually repeats from last week.)
06/25/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/25/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
06/25/2001 Eastern Tailed-Blue – Cupido comyntas
06/25/2001 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius
06/28/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
06/28/2001 Cabbage White – Pieris rapae
06/28/2001 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius.
06/29/2001 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis
06/29/2001 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia
06/29/2001 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus
07/01/2001 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
I was happy to see a couple of E. Tiger Swallowtails this week. One male was particularly focused on eating which allowed me a few close-ups.
A few of you have commented you also are not seeing many butterflies this summer. Let’s hope that changes. Today at last a nice rain is falling that is expected to last throughout the day. Perhaps the water will encourage more flowers. Common lantana and Rudbeckia are just coming into bloom and usually attract many kinds of pollinators.
I couldn’t quite get close enough to this buckeye, tucked into shadows of a large stand of button chrysanthemums.
In previous years there have been many skippers. This Fiery Skipper is among the few so far this summer.
Wishing for a balance in your weather this week. Hope gardens and pollinators are bringing much joy.
Butterfly Journal For June 11-17, 2021
Since my last report the morning of June 11 when I noted so much trouble getting a photo of a Common Buckeye, I have seen three more. Two were quite cooperative—one looked very colorful and fresh; the other looked worse for the wear.
I have seen a couple of Fiery Skippers on verbena bonariensis. Once common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) come into flower I expect many more. These images are the same individual.
There was a glimpse of a fast moving Pipevine Swallowtail, but unlike last week I could not get a good images this time. This one is heavily cropped.
Two updates: I had some ID help through a facebook group Carolina Leps with a couple of mystery insects in last week’s post. The Southern Broken-Dash (Wallengrenia otho) was confirmed so that’s a first in the garden for me.
An insect I tentatively thought was Zarucco Duskywing (Erynnis zarucco) of June 8, 2021 is probably Horace’s Duskywing. I was told Zarucco couldn’t be ruled out but it is not commonly found in a garden setting.
I spotted two more Horace’s Duskywings this week.
In early June I glimpsed a few Eastern Tiger Swallowtails but they would just fly over the garden and not stop. Yesterday as I turned into my driveway I saw a beautiful male in the front yard nectaring on Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ (Coneflower).
Another brief happenstance moment allowed me to record another first in the garden this week. I stood back trying to photograph this newly opened gladiolus when a butterfly landed in the distance.
Knowing I was too far away I took a shot anyway. It was the only image I could get before the butterfly flew off again (see below). Turns out the original picture above with the glad captured the butterfly too (below left-most red daylily). Though I hadn’t seen this one in person before I recognized it from others’ posts on the Carolina Leps page as Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis).
Immortality is a reblooming iris that has been surprising me with fresh blooms.
Thursday I had a fun but frustrating few minutes chasing a Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis ssp. astyanax).
(iNaturalist originally suggested this was Red-spotted Admiral (Limenitis arthemis) but the identification has been updated by two reviewers. The only other time I’ve recorded one in my garden is August 29, 2015. It may also have been incorrectly identified. Will have to check on that.)
Much quicker than I, this one escaped several close-up portraits so I can only show drastically cropped images.
I rely heavily on iNaturalist for identifications but its artificial intelligence algorithms are imperfect. It suggested Polites peckius, the Peck’s skipper for the next, but in fact the insect is yet another of the much more common Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus). When after a few hours no iNaturalist reviewer had seconded that id I submitted the images to Carolina Leps (Butterflies and Moths), a Facebook forum with local and willing experts. So okay, plenty of fieries this year.
For a week I have spotted a yellow butterfly sailing high across the garden and finally yesterday managed a quick shot of a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae). Generally butterflies prefer flowers which are single in form, but the cloudless stopped at several of the frilly, fringed Dahlia ‘Tsuku Yori No Shisha’. Who could resist it!
I have seen several clouded skippers this year and posted one earlier in the week. This one landed yesterday on a segment of verbena bonariensis that still has fresh flowers. Most have gone to seed. These images captured the markings and detail of Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius), so I am sharing them here for reference.
Hope you had a chance to marvel at October’s harvest moon. Enjoy a fine weekend and thanks for reading.
Early September Scenes
It has been a hot, dry week. The garden is turning toward autumn.
Wordless Wednesday – Garden Benefits