Backyard Bugs: Skippers


Photos- Val Solash


I think this guy is probably a European skipper, an introduced species of butterfly which probably originated with hay seed imported from Europe around the turn of the last century.  We have many other varieties of  skippers here in Alberta. They belong to a family of butterfly called Hesperiidae and there are three hundred species in North America.  In this species uniquely (European skipper), the eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring. The nest is made by rolling up leaves and securing with a silk thread.  They eat grasses as caterpillars and flower nectar as adults. The creature is named for its highly manoeurvrable and fast, darting manner of flight.  Their body description could be that of someone I married: hairy, short, and stout.  Just joking, honey!  They are cute little flutterbys  that vary from having bright orange to dark brown wings and with antennas that end in a  crochet hook.  They may be small, but don’t underrate their importance to the ecology. Skippers are a very beneficial species and reliable pollinators of many prairie flowers.

Val Solash,  Edmonton Master Naturalist 2015

Check ot this website with great pictures of Skippers

Video record of skipper egg hatching

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