WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – OLETA RIVER STATE PARK, FL
Photographed is a Fiery Skipper Butterfly taken at Oleta River State Park in North Miami Beach, Florida (Sunny Isles). The photo was taken with a Nikon D90 attached to a Nikkor 60mm 2.8 lens and a macro light ring.
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.
The Fiery Skipper belongs to the subfamily Herperiinae, or Grass Skippers. Generally distinguishable by their large bodies relative to their wings, Skippers are also characterized (as their name suggests) by their rapid, darting flight. The Fiery Skipper is sometimes called the Lawn Skipper.
Distinguishable by its very short antennae, the Fiery Skipper butterfly is moth-like in appearance. Its wingspan runs about 1 1/8 – 1 1/4 inches in length. Males are a fiery yellowish-orange with black, toothed margins. A wide black stigma (a gland that releases pheromones to attract females) is visible on the upper forewing. Females are yellowish-brown with small, dusky, dark spots.