Thursday, July 21, 2011

Skipping

The butterfly above is the Silver Spotted Skipper. I do not think the name is an accurate description of this common butterfly.  I see them all over my yard and sometimes they have yellow or orange patches as the flyer above shows, sometimes they only show white.  They are the largest of the skippers.  The caterpillar form looks like a green exclamation point with the head being large and dark brown.  They scatter their frass (poop) a distance behind them to distract and confuse wasps who follow the smell.

One thing you may notice is how large and bulbous their eyes are.

These butterflies seem to like everything that blooms in my yard, but I did read that they do not favor yellow flowers.  I will have to see if I observe that.  They are not wary for photographing, but do not sit still for more than a few seconds in any one place.  I was most happy to capture this 'flight risk'.  At night they build themselves tiny wispy shelters using cut leaves and they hang out under the leaves until daylight.  

14 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

What a wonderful picture and great information here too! Thanks for starting my day off right.

kenju said...

Thanks for the lesson. I know nothing about butterflies.

Jenny Woolf said...

"frass" - that's a new word. Wonderful picture!

Brian Miller said...

how very cool...was working with a boy this afternoon and we were skipping after butterflies...

chris said...

i do not know this butterfly and really enjoyed reading about it! frass is new to me too - what a great word!

Dave King said...

Lovely image and fascinating text. What more could one ask?

SueAnn said...

Gorgeous butterfly!! Thanks for the info...never knew they scattered their "poo"!! Ha! But that is brilliant!!
Hugs
SueAnn

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

You are my teacher...

Robert V. Sobczak said...

If only our mosquitoes were so photogenic!?

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

Amazing shot. Those skippers are darned fast. Dianne

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've never heard of a skipper - does it skip? Great picture :)

Mage said...

I'm noting less but always here. I cheered when the little one made it to the branches. I learned that the butterfly's build nests, thank you. I've loved your flowers too. All we still have here is a very hungry baby crow. Darn it.

Granny Annie said...

Who else but you would notice the bulbous eyes of a butterfly?

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI There, That Silver Spotted Skipper is a beauty --and what a gorgeous flower it chose to be on with its photo!!!!
Hugs,
Betsy