Skipper Schooled! So I admit it. I had miss-ID (That would be a good license plate for me Miss ID ) the skipper yesterday. My good friend John Howard suggested the Broad-wing Skipper was a better match for the date and habitat, than the Hobomok Skipper I originally posted. I am always willing to learn, especially from John. And today’s photo is a fantastic shot John took of a pair of Zabulon skippers, Poanes zabulon. As if skippers weren’t tough enough, these are dimorphic as well! With the females looking different from the males, it is twice as hard to ID them. So when can you be certain you have correctly ID a female Zab? When they are mating, of course!
Thanks to John for the stunning photo, and for being my skipper guru. Kenn Kaufman’s Focus Guide for the Butterflies of North America gives some great advice for sorting skippers. Start by region, and then by date. I cross check these in the Butterflies of Ohio by Daniels. If you narrow your choices down to ten or so, chances are much better for getting a proper identification. But then again, you could miss- like me! : )