|Common Checkered Skipper – Pyrgus communis|
Family: Hesperiidae – Skippers / Subfamily: Hesperiinae – Grass skippers
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Live adult skipper butterflies photographed near Dotsero, Colorado, USA. Elevation 6540 ft.
|Family Hesperiidae: Skipper Butterflies comprise nearly 3,000 species worldwide, 250 of which call North America home. Roughly one third of North American butterflies belong to this family. Skippers are named for their rapid, erratic flight. Skippers differ from the true butterflies in their proportionately larger bodies, smaller wings, and hooked antennae, among many other structural differences. The skipper family is further divided into subfamilies. Skippers can be the most difficult butterfly species to identify; their markings are maddeningly similar.|
Identification: Wings are dark brown. Upper side of male forewing has a dark black stigma; female forewing has transparent white spots. Underside of hindwing has dark and light patches and a violet-blue sheen.
Skipper butterflies can be divided into five subfamilies:
Order Lepidoptera, which contains both butterflies and moths, includes at least 125,000 known species including 12,000 in North America. Butterflies are revered for their brightly colored wings and pleasing association with fair weather and flowers.