A Rare American Skipper

Leonard's Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Sometimes I review my images and I’m pleased that I have some that are just plain unusual, “rare.” Jeffrey Glassberg in A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America notes that this Leonard’s Skipper butterfly is “LR-U,” locally rare to uncommon. Good, for I remember when and how I scored this sweet image.

It was well into September at Raccoon Creek State Park in Southwestern Pennsylvania. I wanted to go there that morning, but had an internal debate, ‘Why go when it was so late in the season and everything that could be seen by me, was?’ I went.

She flew onto a mowed trail in Doak’s 100+ acres meadow. ??????? What was she? I’d never seen such a sweety before. And she was a stunner!!

She my first Leonard’s. A rare skipper that first appears in very late summer!

A rare American skipper butterfly, and  . . . Never say never! Thanks Fuji, for your Velvia slide film caught her lush color just fine.


White-Patched Skipper (Mission)

White-Patched skipper butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

I saw one, during those days in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, in Texas. Here it is. I look at it, and Hmmm, those wings tips, the head, couldn’t I have done better?

Then, I flip open my Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America (Glassberg, 2017) and a wry smile grows at the corners of my mouth. Why?

This White-Patched Skipper, a spreadwing skipper butterfly, is “U” for uncommon – “R” for rare! So there it is. I was fortunate to finally visit the National Butterfly Center during the last week of December 2017, and for a brief moment, I found this uncommon-rare skipper butterfly, ’til he sped away, into the surrounding botany. He look just fine, and I was more than thrilled to have seen this very hard to find butterfly, a duskywing relation.

Thank Y-u.