Family Hesperiidae - Skipper Butterflies
Order Lepidoptera / Suborder Macrolepidoptera / Superfamily Hesperioidea
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Skippers display many structural features of both moths and butterflies.
Little Glassywing Skipper
Little Glassywing
Skipper Butterflies display many structural features of both moths and butterflies; stocky with a large head, widely spaced, hooked antennae, a chunky body and short wings, these smallish butterflies are sometimes rapid, erratic fliers.

The family is subdivided into 7 subfamilies: Hesperiinae (grass skippers),  Coeliadinae, Euschemoninae, Eudaminae (dicot skippers), Pyrginae (spreadwings),  Heteropterinae (monocot skippers), and Trapezitinae (found only in Oceania) [3].

Before I started photographing insects, I was completely unaware of these charming little butterflies. I have since come to appreciate their antics and admire their flying abilities. Skippers present a physical challenge to photogs - they rarely stay in one spot for more than a few moments, and they will weathervane you all day (never presenting their full profile).

Peck's Skipper
Peck's Skipper
Least Skipper
Least Skipper
Wild Indigo Duskywing
Wild Indigo Duskywing
All adult skippers have six well developed legs and four wings. Their eggs are tiny, usually less than .1mm. Most skipper larvae are green and tapered, and the neck appears constricted. The caterpillars weave silk and leaves into a daytime shelter for protection. Most pupate in loosely woven cocoons. Chrysalises are often coated with a powder or bloom.

Skipper Butterflies share some characteristics of moths; stocky with a large head, widely spaced, hooked antennae, a chunky body and short wings, these smallish butterflies are sometimes rapid, erratic fliers.

The family is subdivided into 7 subfamilies: Hesperiinae (grass skippers),  Coeliadinae, Euschemoninae, Eudaminae (dicot skippers), Pyrginae (spreadwings),  Heteropterinae (monocot skippers), and Trapezitinae (found only in Oceania).

Silver-Spotted Skipper Butterfly
Silver-Spotted Skipper shows characteristic hooked antennae
Zabulon Skipper
Zabulon Skipper
Southern Broken Dash
Southern Broken Dash
Little Glassywing
Little Glassywing
Long-tailed Skipper
Long-tailed Skipper
Sachem
Sachem
Delaware Skipper
Delaware Skipper
Clouded skippers
Clouded skippers
Clouded Skipper
Clouded Skipper
Woodland Skipper
Woodland Skipper
Checkered Skipper
Checkered Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Fiery Skipper
Byssus Skipper
Byssus Skipper
Ocola Skipper
Ocola Skipper
European Skipper
European Skipper
Long Dash
Long Dash
Sandhill Skipper
Sandhill Skipper
European Skipper
European Skipper Butterfly - Thymelicus lineola

References

1. Opler, Paul A., Harry Pavulaan, Ray E. Stanford, Michael Pogue, Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT

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Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.
Learn to identify many of the American Midwest's common species through descriptions and large diagnostic photos of live, wild specimens.
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