January 22, 2023
The species selected for the second in this series on butterflies of Eliza Howell Park is the Silver-spotted Skipper. It is quite common in the park, frequently seen here from the middle of June to the middle of August.
The Silver-spotted Skipper is large for a skipper, the largest skipper in our area, with a wingspan of about 2 inches. There are over 200 different skippers in North America, many of which are similar in appearance and very difficult to tell apart. The Silver-spotted is different, quite easy to identify because of the orange and white (silver?) patches.
It frequents flowers for nectar.
It seems to be attracted to flowers at the edge of the forest, which is where the best wildflower field is located in the park. I often see it nectaring on Wild Bergamot flowers, which are plentiful in this flower field in late June and in July.
Silver-spotted Skipper is active over a large part of the country, more common in the East.
Though frequently seen nectaring, it is also sometimes found perching on grasses and leaves.
The Silver-spotted Skipper spends the winter as a caterpillar, with the chrysalis stage in the spring. The earliest I have seen an adult is mid-May, with June being the usual time.
A favorite August photo is this one.
There are many attractive butterflies found in Eliza Howell Park, as this series will show. This is one that a visitor has an excellent chance of seeing on any day (on any non-rainy day after mid-morning) during their season.