Butterfly or Skipper ?

!!KS - white peacok @ trwt copy
Nancy Soucy (Class of 2010) led a walk at the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail on 11-1-2014, a blustery & cool (for Winter Beach, Florida), yet bright & sunny day. Karen Schuster (Class of 2009) captured and shared wonderful photos of some of the butterflies & skippers that Nancy identified.

Pictured above is a white peacock butterfly (Anartia jatrophae). Its larval foods are water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri) and frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora).

Below is a mangrove buckeye butterfly (Junonia evarete). Its larval food is black mangrove (Avicennia germinans).
!!KS - mangrove skipper @ trwt copy

Butterflies & skippers are Lepidoptera. Skippers have the own family, Hesperiidacae, and, as Nancy pointed out, can be differentiated form butterflies by their darting, erratic flight. Skippers have more muscular, stocky bodies than butterflies, and their antennae are smooth with ends that are hooked backward. Butterfly antennae are feathered and are clubbed at the ends.

!!KS - mangrove skipper on smallanthus @ trwt copy
Nancy pointed out this long-tailed skipper (Urbanus proteus) nectaring on hairy leafcup (Smallanthus uvedalia). Its larval food includes plants in the pea (Fabaceae) family such as butterfly pea (Centrosema virginianum) and tick trefoils (Desmodium sp.).
!!KS - propr & drop roots @ trwt copy

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