Currently viewing the category: "Skippers"

Moth Query
Attached is a picture I took of a moth beside the ocean on mid Vancouver Island BC July 24th at 6:30 or so.. I have searched far and wide for a name. It is very hairy all over, and looks like it could be some kind of cousin to the Silkworm Moth, but appears quite a bit smaller. It is about 1 – 1.5 in long, and with a full wingspan, about 2 inches wide. It appears a bit more bronze than my picture in the full sun shows, but still orange enough to look tigerish. Can you identify it for me. Thanks, I love you website and refer to it often.
F. Hansen

Hi F.,
This isn’t a moth. It is a Skipper in the Family Hesperiidae. Skippers have some characteristics of both butterflies and moths. They get their common name from the rapid, direct, and bouncing flight. Positive identification of your specimen takes an expert in the family.

We found this lovely moth in the barn. It poised just long enough for us to take a photo of it and then it flew away. I have looked in both butterflies and moths on your site and can not seem to find one that looks like it. Can you id it for us?
Yvonne Griffiths
North Central FL

Hi Yvonne,
You were not able to locate this Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus, on our site because it is a new species for us. We are very happy you sent it in. Skippers are classified as butterflies, but they have enough differences to be considered a group of insect with characteristics of both butterflies and moths. The Long-Tailed Skipper is a southern insect and the larval food are plants in the legume group.

Thanks for the quick reply on the beetle pic I sent out to you. It was interesting info… Now, I thought I would hit up your butterfly knowledge with this skipper sp. that me and my buddy have photographed at work. The shot is from Bradenton, Manatee County, Florida, which is just south of Tampa Bay. This skipper is typically seen on the edge of a small, usually wet wooded area next to our headquarters building. The best I could do with it was say it is a Grass Skipper…I am hoping that it may be possibly a Three-spotted Skipper or a Eufala Skipper, both of which, according to the NPWRC website would be first county records for Manatee County. I won’t be surprised when I get your reply that so-and-so butterfly expert will say this is a Sachem or some other common Skipper…
Thanks again,
Colin Gjervold
Sarasota, Fl

Hi Colin,
Sorry for the delay. Here is what I found out from Weiping at the Natural History Museum. This skipper is Cymaenes tripunctus.