Skippers of Mystery

Skipper identification can be challenging at times. Here's a collection of photos of some unidentified skippers. Please send me an e-mail if you have some comments on them.

Mystery Skipper 1

Craven Co., NC 8/25/02.

This very small, fast-flying skipper had us stumped on the 2002 Croatan National Forest count. Various experts have guessed it's a runt worn Delaware Skipper or an Arogos Skipper. My bet's on Delaware, though I'm not very confident. Craven Co., NC 8/25/02.

Mystery Skipper 2

This fast-flier looks very similar to the one above.

Holly Shelter Game Land, Pender Co., NC 9/3/03.

This may be the same individual, but there were several Delawares in various states of wear in the same location. It looks to me like there's a hint of the upperside pattern of a male Delaware.

Holly Shelter Game Land, Pender Co., NC 9/3/03.

Here are three photos of knowns for comparison.

Croatan National Forest, Craven Co., NC 8/25/02. Delawares are fairly common in the area, but tend to be larger and with more sedate behavior. Male Delawares have longer, thinner abdomens than the one pictured at left.

Arogos Skipper (Atrytone arogos), Carteret Co., NC 8/28/04.

No Arogos have ever been recorded in these precise locales, but they are in the area. The size is about right, but the pale veining is not apparent on the mystery butterfly.

Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiaca), San Ygnacio, Zapata Co., TX 6/6/04.

A long shot, but similar to the mystery butterfly in both size and behavior.

Mystery Skipper 3

Carteret Co., NC 8/29/04. Tawny-edged Skippers are common in this location. Could this be a dark, worn Tawny?

North Carolina Butterflies

Revised 9/25/06