Fiery Skipper Butterfly on a Purple Thistle
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – ENCHANTED FOREST PARK, FL
This is a photograph of a Fiery Skipper Butterfly feasting on Purple Thistle nectar. It was so covered in pollen that is almost appeared “regal”! The camera used was a Nikon D90 body and a Nikkor 60mm auto 2.8 lens. The photo was taken in Enchanted Forest Park, which is located in North Miami, Florida.
The Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) is a butterfly of the family Hesperiidae and are approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) long. The males are orange or yellow with black spots while the females are dark brown with orange or yellow spots. The caterpillars are greenish pink with a black head. The caterpillars are often considered pests and can feed on bermudagrass, creeping bentgrass, and St. Augustine grass. The fiery Skipper lives in Northern America.
For identification purposes, the antennae are very short. Male wide black stigma. Underside of the hindwing is scattered with small black spots. Female: Upperside is dark brown with a very irregular orange band. Underside of hindwing is pale brown with paler checks.
Adult Fiery Skipper butterflies feed on the nectar from the flowers of a variety of plants which include sweet pepperbush, swamp milkweed, asters, sneezeweed, knapweed, ironweed, and thistles, as seen in this photograph.