Thursday, August 16, 2012

Long-tailed Skipper!

Last week Frank Mantlik found yet another very cool butterfly in his yard, a Long-tailed Skipper! Look at these great shots...

This was more than just a seasonally expected butterfly or passing rarity like the now widespread Giant Swallowtails as it seems there are sometimes not even one record a year in the state. Frank notes that The Connecticut Butterfly Atlas (O'Donnell, Gall, Wagner) lists this species as a vagrant, and there appeared to be only three records in Connecticut during the five-year atlas period (1995-1999). He explains:

Today (9 Aug. 2012), I saw and photographed a LONG-TAILED SKIPPER in my yard.  It was nectaring on Buddleia for about 10 minutes.  My wife Linda and I had seen many of these at Topsail Is., NC in Sept., 2000...on our honeymoon.  It's a species I've dreamed about seeing in CT.  Then I noticed this large Silver-spotted -sized skipper, I wasn't sure what it was.  So I ran for the camera, and later ID'd it with the help of Glassberg and the CT Butterfly Atlas.  This individual is lacking the long tail, but it's large body was definitely blueish.

Thanks Frank, keep the incredible sightings coming! If anyone ever wants to share some unique observations or spectacularly odd finds please email me at

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photo © Frank Mantlik and not to be reproduced without explicit permission

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