I spied a Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus, resting and maybe (?) waiting for a receptive female to flit by for a bit spring fling. This handsome fella perched on a leaf of Zexmenia, Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida which co-mingles with a competing stand of ferny Yarrow, Achillea millefolium.

He displayed his fiery, autumnal wings, turning on the leaf, which allowed a nice view of the beautiful colors and pattern. The host plants for this skipper are grasses like Saint Augustine and Bermuda and though I don’t have either in my garden, both grasses grow in abundance near my garden. As adults, these skippers nectar from many kinds of flowers; he and his kind have plenty of choices for their meals.

I don’t know if he found his skipper love, but I sure loved watching him.

16 thoughts on “Fiery

  1. Such impressive photos of a very handsome guy! So many of the skippers I see are darting around so quickly I rarely get a good enough look to hazard an identification, much less a good photograph. I understand why some take to calling them “LBJs” (little brown jobs).


    • Thanks, but he was just so still, I had no choice but to get a good shot! Typically, I’m like you, trying for that impossible photo, while they little things zip around the garden. This guy was a real gent!


  2. I’m not sure I’ve heard of this one; as far as I know, I’ve never seen one. It is a handsome thing. You’re right that the colors are autumnal, but what a lovely sign of spring.

    Here’s my bird feeder update: I’m now hosting four….mallards! They must have wandered up from the nearby marina, but they’re obviously fond of fallen seed, and there may be a nest in our shrubbery. The squirrels are not amused by their presence.


  3. Do you often see fiery skippers in your garden? What about skippers in general? You’re fortunate that this one held still long enough for you to photograph it from at least two angles. The fine branching in the ferny yarrow leaves harmonizes nicely with the markings on the butterfly’s wings.


    • I’ve seen them a number of times, I’m not sure I could it’s often, but probably several times a year. I was happy he was so still for a time, both to watch and to photograph. I see Gray Hairstreaks all the time and love to watch them.


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