Whirlabout Skipper

Skipper Butterfly at Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, SC

Good. This Whirlabout Skipper is absolutely “fresh.” He sports the “vivid” coloration described by Cech and Tudor in their wonderful book, Butterflies of the East Coast.

Where did we happen onto this beautiful display of brown and yellowish-orange? We found him at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina, just 15 minutes drive from Savannah, Georgia.

I’ve always favored brown shoes, suits and ties and now, gorgeous brown skippers.

Polites vibex is a Southern species, so we had to come enjoy Savannah, Tybee Island beaches and this Natonal Wildlife Refuge to make its acquaintance.

Cech and Tudor describe how Whirlabouts prefer hot, sunny, exposed open spaces. This guy was in exactly such a place. The sun was powerful that morning, the mosquitoes were not especially shy and the ‘gators were lazily swimming along the extensive canals that bordered the trails of the refuge. At one time a rice plantation, Savannah National Wildlife Refuge is a superb place to seek butterflies. The Viceroys, Gulf fritillaries, Variegated fritillaries and Skippers are so richly, sharply colored. I had one of those Thank you G-d moments. Albert Bierstadt and Ansel Adams and their ilk surely had such moments. And to think that such experiences are still possible, without jetting to Mongolia or Madagascar!

Jeffrey