This Dainty European Skipper Butterfly is Resting on a Grass Stem

Skipper Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Well here is another American success story. First noted in Canada, this native of Europe and Asia entered the United States after 1910. As with most Americans and lots of our animals and plants, Thyimelicus lineal lives and populates much of the United States.

They fly from June through August. Our tiny, dainty subject here was resting on a grass stem in mid-June in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Easier to identify than many of the grass skippers, European skippers spend most of their time in grasses in fields and meadows.

They are not the fastest fliers and they fly short distances, close to the ground.

They spend alot of their time nectaring and can be approached.

So here we have a tiny, tiny butterfly that like most of us, traces its origin back across the Atlantic and when first, inadvertently brought to North American, flourished in the rich, bountiful land it found.

A reminder that we can expect an inflow of immigrants to time immemorial. They arrive often with very little and find an abundance of “nectar,” i.e., an opportunity to live, flourish and revel in the fruits of this extraordinary land.


Pookie Cute Tiny Grass Skipper Butterfly

Zabulon Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at

Poanes zabulon is no stranger to those of us who seek out butterflies. They are flying for much of the late Spring and through the summer. Zabulon skippers are one of many species of Skipper butterflies known as Grass skippers. They are quite small and many of them are difficult to identify.

Our female Zabulon here is easier to recognize. She is ‘fresh’ with distinct colors, mahogany-brown, yellow and that almost flashy purply-white outer wing markings. When I began learning about and seeking butterflies, I had an instantaneous connection with Zabulon skippers.

Legions of preteens and teens will surely recognize this one as a certifiable “pookie.”