Tuesday, May 26, 2009
These images are of the Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus). They are one of the most common skippers in Missouri. We see many of them this time of year along the timber edges as well as visiting flowers in my gardens. They grow to about 1.75 to 2.25 inches, making them the largest skipper in our area. Their coloring is not as spectacular as other butterflies, but they are certainly pretty in their own right. Their upperwings are drab brownish-black with orangish colored wing bars. Their underwings feature the white or silvery spots from which they get their name. Look for them at woodland edges, open fields, roadsides, gardens and near streams. Adults prefer nectar from flowers with hues of red, blue, pink or purple. May also be found at white or cream colored flowers. The host plant for the caterpillars varies to include Black Locust, Honey Locust, False Indigo, and many other woody legumes. You will find adults perched upside down on the underside of leaves and night or during the hottest parts of the day.