Checkered Skippers

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)August 6, 2011

There were numerous common checkered skippers in my garden today, mostly nectaring on the Brazilian button. BB has proven to be a great nectar plant for small butterflies. There was this one male who continually followed a female around. He'd get right behind her and move his head back and forth - so cute!


Sida - S. rhombifolia, I think - is everywhere around here, with those cute little yellow flowers that unfurl like a fan. I haven't found any cats, yet, but there must have been some somewhere, judging by their numbers.

Sherry

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Ooh, ooh, MissSherry, I found a great plant for the small butts, too, this year! It is Mountain Mint. They LOVED it. I may not have many butterflies this year, but the ones I had were all over it.

I love those Checkered Skippers (glad you dropped the "Common" from their common name). I see one every 2 or 3 years and that's it. Sigh....

Your photos are great!

Susan

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 12:32PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks, Susan!
I love the checkered skippers, too. And I left out the word "common" on purpose - they may be plentiful, but they're not a bit "common" to me! :)
I've read that mountain mint is real popular with butterflies, so I'm not surprised you're seeing so many butterflies on yours. I may give it a try soon.
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 3:31PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

It is popular with the "smaller" butterflies, like the Hairstreaks, Blues, and Skippers. It's also a great bee plant and with the issues in the bee populations, I'm trying to also include more of those in the garden. They really love this one, too, but they are good about sharing with the butterflies. The Pyramid Bush is also a good bee plant and small butterfly plant. It is not hardy here, but I hope I can save some seeds. It sure is pretty and it is just constantly in bloom and no deadheading necessary.

The Mountain Mint (and there are several native to the Eastern US) that I have is Pycnanthemum muticum. It is very pretty, with large, glossy green leaves, and bracts that turn a pretty silvery white. Looks like it's covered in a layer of ice.

Susan

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 8:27PM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

I'm curious about the orange on the genitalia. It looks like orange scales in the picture. Is that correct?

Also, the genitalia look like claspers, which would indicate male in non-skippers at least. Is that true for skippers as well? Or am I seeing it wrong?

Jeff

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 11:08AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I noticed the yellow and red blob on the rear end of the female after I posted it, Jeff. I don't know what it is, but it looks like liquid to me.
I'm sure that the one with his wings spread is a male, because of the blue hairs, and the one with the yellow on her rear was much plainer, no blue hairs.
I don't see anything that looks like claspers to me - where do you see claspers?
Sherry

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 12:21PM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

I may be seeing it wrong. In the picture, it looks like orange on the bottom and then a bifurcated structure on the top.

Jeff

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 1:31PM
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