Monday, July 28, 2008

The Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus

The Fiery Skipper is a grass skipper common in the South, less so in Maryland. This particular individual was taken on July 18 at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD.

The underside is distinctive, resembling few other grass skippers (compare to The Whirlabout)

Above, the orange color intrudes into the marginal brown bands on both the fore- and hindwing, resembling tongues of flame (hence the name "Fiery Skipper"). The black stigma that runs from the base of the wing to the cell indicates that this is a male. It releases pheromones that help the female find a suitable mate.

The view of the genitalia confirms that this is a male -- note the claspers.

Don't the faces look friendly? The white circle around the eyes is noticeable here.

One more artistic shot.