Long Dash Skipper– a Polites mystic

Skipper Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

It’s Skipper time. Here we were, at Clay Pond Reserve in western New York State. My eyes are peeled for Satyrs, Viceroys, Monarchs, Wood Nymphs, Angle wings. Rare and/or beautiful wildflowers are also appreciated.

The grass is thigh high, and the going is slow, for though the pond is only 50 feet away, this is a very wet read very wet meadow.

You see what I saw. A very beautiful skipper on a lush, colorful bloom. Arrgh! I try to make believe that I don’t see handsome skipper butterflies, because there are so many species of them about and I never did develop a working ID program in my head, to tell one from another skipper species.

That moment though, I thought, Hey! this is one of the more interesting Skipper species, it is totally occupied as it nectars the full flower head, and it’d make a fine image, if I can capture what I see and share it well.

June 2017, and I make this as a Long Dash skipper, nicely adorned, eyes good and proboscis well extended. And Barbara Ann, he is sipping at this (what kind do you think this is?) bloom.

Jeff

2 thoughts on “Long Dash Skipper– a Polites mystic

  1. This photogenic bloom is a European invasive that is currently spreading rapidly here in Chautauqua County, NY. It is one of the spotted knapweeds/centaurea) and is in the same family as our more commonly seen blue bachelor buttons. Once it establishes itself it spreads rapidly and quickly pushes out native plants. Yes, a pretty little flower and the diminutive butterflies love the nectar, but definitely not something you want growing in your native gardens and meadows. There is actually a type of weevil that you can purchase and release

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    • to help control the spread of this aggressive little beastie, which means it can be controlled by pulling plants and releasing weasils which eat the root system of the plant.

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