Posts Tagged ‘fiery skipper’

Fiery Skipper

Sedums are one of the busiest butterfly/insect attractors in the yard.

IMG_9877

 A male fiery skipper  (Hylephila phyleus) was too busy feeding on the sedums to pay much attention to me.

IMG_9876

It made its way around from one flower to the next. The female’s pattern tends to be darker. Their size ranges between 1.0 – 1.4 inches.

IMG_9869

They don’t call them “skippers” for nothing — some can “skip” out of sight without even seeing them leave.

An Odd Behavior

They don’t call skippers “skippers” for nothing; they can “skip” away so fast I don’t see them go.

So, when I went in close to take a picture and the skipper stayed there, I knew something was going on.

My suspicions were correct; it was prey to a crab spider. Crab spiders can change color to match the color of the flower they’re on. They ambush their prey, inject it with venom to immobilize it. They then feed until the victim is sucked dry.

The victim was a male fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus). Their wingspan measures 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.

 When I went out after supper, the skipper lay on the ground. I twisted the stem of the salvia to see the spider. Females are much bigger than the males.