Skipper Madness Continues

Brazilian skipper, photo’d by Steve Glynn at Woodland Village, Clermont (Cape May Co) 9-27-12.

Our newest contributing observer, Steve Glynn of Millville, jumped into our pool with a big splash last week, by recording our 4th record of Brazilian skipper for the year (and only the 5th in the five years of our log’s existence). Steve considered the possibility that it had escaped from the “Imagine Butterflies” exhibit. Apparently, however, Brazilian skippers are not kept in that museum (may even be legally forbidden): they are considered a pest species (as caterpillars) and they also lack the big wings and gaudy colors butterfly museums prefer. Steve’s skipper is almost certainly a free-flying individual that has come a long, long way by self-propulsion from its home range — as have the others so far located this year.

So far, all four reports of the species have come from Cape May. Is there a sharp & lucky observer out there who can add a record from north of the peninsula? That would be a first for New Jersey, it seems, and this might very well be the year to do it!

Brazilian skipper found by Chris Tonkinson and Will Kerling, on Beach Avenue in North Cape May, 9-22-12, photo’d by Will Kerling.

We have also had three records this month of clouded skipper, which is both rare (no log records in 2011, one in 2010, none in 2009), and also tough to ID. The dusty edging on ventral wings can be reminiscent of a female zabulon, but clouded is less flashy in most lights (so say the observers who have seen it).

Chris Tonkinson found the third and most recent individual on 9-23-12 at Cape May Point State Park, and we have photographs from two contributors documenting her find:

Clouded skipper photo’d by Sam Galick at Cape May Point State Park, 9-23-12.

Clouded skipper photo’d by Will Kerling at Cape May Point State Park, 9-23-12.

Congratulations to the finders and photogs above!

Our log’s next challenge: can we “spread the wealth” around by finding either of these skipper rarities north of the peninusula?

Keep exploring and logging, everyone!


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