Sunday, May 1, 2011

Arctic Skipper

There are a lot of people who confuse skippers with moths. Perhaps it is because they have thicker bodies then most butterflies. The difference between moths and butterflies is that the forewing and hindwing of the moth are connected while the butterflies wings are seperate. Since skippers have separated wings they are a part of the butterfly family.

The arctic skipper is a member of the skipperling subfamily, Heteropterinae. They are a circumpolar species that is usually found in the north. The arctic skipper overwinters in its larval, or caterpillar form. They form a chrysalis that looks like faded glass in the spring and usually are on the wing in mid May to early June, with typically only one brood per year. Caterpillars typically feed on a variety of grasses while the adults prefer wild iris, bog laurel and Labrador tea.


Jama said...


Genie said...

I am thrilled to learn about the differing wind structure of the moths and butterflies. Now I won’t be asking so many silly and repetitive questions. Just think of me at 72 crawling down and around to get a better close up to see the wing structure. Your captures are lovely. So pretty.

jo©o said...

Sometimes day moths are as pretty as butterflies,aren't they?.
Is this one plant specific?
I get a day moth, Scarlet Tiger, Callimorpha dominula, which feeds exclusively on Comfrey (Symphytum officinale).
I'm looking daily to find the larvae but this year they seem to be late.

Jane said...

Interesting commentary and beautiful photos - the orange of the flowers is a perfect foil for the browns and yellows of these skippers.