Dorantes Longtail

The family Hesperiidae, including the skippers, duskywings and cloudywings, is an exercise in frustration for field identification: 3500 species of “medium size, brown butterflies with spots” and varying patterns on the wing fringes. Add in the vagaries of amateur entomologist photography and, well. I originally identified this as a southern cloudywing, Thorybes bathyllus, based on…

Whirlabout

This dainty little yellow skipper butterfly has one of the neatest names I’ve seen — the whirlabout. Its Latin name is Polites vibex. They live in the southeastern US coastal plains (think Texas – Florida – North Carolina), mostly in sunny, open areas. The caterpillars eat grasses, especially Bermudagrass and St. Augustine grass. “Skipper” butterflies…

Horace’s Duskywing

Duskywing skipper butterflies (genus Erynnis) are generally light brown to black with light spots on the wings, and the group is notoriously difficult to tell apart. I am reasonably certain, after having compared images from each of the “juvenalis group” of extremely similar “little brown butterflies” on bugguide.net, that this is a Horace’s duskywing, Erynnis…

Three Spotted Skipper

Who knew? — searching for “small brown butterfly” is just as frustrating as searching for “small brown moth”. This particular small brown butterfly happens to be a three-spotted skipper, Cymaenes tripunctus, a grass skipper in the butterfly family Hesperiidae. It lives all over the Caribbean, and of course Florida because everything lives here. “Skipper” type…