Skippers, silver-spotted

Silver-spotted skipper. Notice the hook at the end of the antennae and the silver spot

Skippers look like a cross between a butterfly and a moth. They are usually rather drab and brown, although some can be colorful. The main difference between skippers and butterflies is in the antennae, they are similar to those of butterflies, except that the little thickening at the end of it is shaped like a hook rather than a knob. They fly skipping about and that is how they get their name.

Notice the gold band visible on both sides of the wing

The silver-spotted skipper is one likely to catch your attention. It is larger than most skippers, chocolate brown with a distinctive white or silvery spot on the underside of its back wings. It also has an irregular golden band on the front wings visible both on the dorsal and ventral sides.
Like butterflies and moths it has a long tongue shaped like a drinking straw which it carries rolled up under its chin. It uses it to get nectar from deep throated flowers, although it never passes an opportunity to nectar at flat, open flowers when it has a chance.

Habitat. Open areas, gardens, roadsides. Throughout North America, although less common in the west

Season. Seen from March to November and even December in some states, but mostly through the summer months.

Flowers. Unlike most pollinators it hardly ever visits yellow flowers, preferring other colors. Milkweeds, asters, zinnias, red clover, blazing star, thistle

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One Response to “Skippers, silver-spotted”

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Butterfly Gardening Says:

    […] Silver-spotted Skipper “Skippers look like a cross between a butterfly and a moth. They are usually rather drab and brown, although some can be colorful. The main difference between skippers and butterflies is in the antennae, they are similar to those of butterflies, except that the little thickening at the end of it is shaped like a hook rather than a knob. They fly skipping about and that is how they get their name.” by Beatriz Moisset […]

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