11oct ~ Silver-spotted Skipper

Note:  I expect my copies of A Perfectly Ordinary Paradise to arrive here at Brawley Creek December 8th

Later this week, I’ll send an email explaining how you can get a copy, as soon as they are available to me, at a discounted price.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Skippers can be recognized by the hooked tip of their antennae.  They are powerful flyers compared to the larger butterflies that seem to float as much as they fly.  The large cluster of silvery scales on the hindwing of the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) make the identification of this easy compared to the rest of the group, many of whom look much like this one but without the silver spot.

They are twitchy. Their flight, though powerful is never straight line. You could call that is twitchy, I suppose, But I’m referring to their reluctance to being approached.  That makes this a more difficult shot that it would seem. It came about because I was really close on a bumble bee working this same thistle flower, when she took off and the skipper immediately plopped into that place in the frame.  I was already stationary and focused on this spot, so I had only to release the shutter. And he stayed for awhile, so I could get closer.  

I’ve never quite gotten over learning that Lepidoptera translates scale wing— one of the tinier traumas of my college life.  I remember thinking, “What scales?”  Well there are all kinds of scales, and somehow I’d never quite supposed that the colors on butterflies were due to colored shingles unlike the colors on beetles and bugs, and even on the abdomen as seen here—sometimes lost among the hairs (that I learned were actually bristles) on the body.

When does a long narrow scale become a bristle?

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