No, I don’t have an emergency need to rush to the rest room (loo). If that were the case I would be running, not skipping. I’m here to talk skipper butterflies (Family Hesperiidae)…particularly grass skippers (Subfamily Hesperiinae). They are called grass skippers because the larval host is various grasses.
Sachem on Bidens alba (September 2013)
Grass skippers such as the Sachem can be very hard to distinguish because, according to Twitter pal @AndyBugGuy, entomologist extraordinaire (with a focus on skippers), “Ventral color is quite variable depending on sex and season”.
Thus, you might be confident of identification in summer, only to be stumped when winter rolls around (they fly year round here in Florida). I’ve found Andy’s website http://butterfliesofamerica.com/ quite helpful when comparing my photos since he has both pinned specimens and live specimen photos for all species.
Whirlabout Skipper Butterfly (Polites vibex) taken this month nectaring at Bidens alba.
Here’s a mating pair of Whirlabouts from March 2014 on some sort of grass.
Sachem Skipper Butterfly (Atalopedes campestris) taken last month (male):
Fiery Skipper Butterfly (Hylephila phyleus) from September 2013 on Bidens alba:
From August 2013: Delaware Skipper Butterfly (Anatrytone logan) on Florida Native Plant Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana):
Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minima) from June 2011 is laying eggs on the grass. This is the smallest North American skipper:
Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola) visiting Goldenrod (Solidago sp.):
So, grab your camera and some patience and get out there and identify your grass skippers!
note: Topmost photo is Whirlabout dorsal view from September 2013