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Posts Tagged ‘Silver-spotted Skipper’

Out of the more than 3500 species of skipper butterflies worldwide, there is only one that I can reliably identify, the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus). I spotted this little beauty on Monday during a brief visit to Green Spring Gardens with my friend and photography mentor Cindy Dyer.

Silver-spotted Skipper

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Out of the more than 3500 different species of skipper butterflies worldwide, according to Wikipedia, there is really only one that I can reliably identify—the Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus). I spotted this beautiful little butterfly this past weekend at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge. The skipper was so intent on feeding that it let me get pretty close to it. As a result, this image is one of the rare cases when I didn’t feel a need or desire to crop at all. I am not very good at plant identification, but I really like the tiny flowers of the plant in this image.

Silver-spotted Skipper

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The light falling on this Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly (Epargyreus clarus) yesterday was beautiful and dramatic at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. I was focusing on the butterfly with my camera set for spot metering and I think that setting was largely responsible for creating the dark, underexposed background.

I was going to crop the image, but decided that I like the composition as it came out of the camera. My normal impulse is to zoom in or crop the shot so that my subject fills a larger part of the frame, but in this case I really like the large amount of negative space.

This shot reminds me a bit of a studio shot, the kind that would have required a number of carefully placed lights to create the same dramatic effect, not to mention a cooperative butterfly. Taking advantage of the natural lighting required a whole lot less effort. “More drama and less effort”—I like the sound of that as an approach to photography, which often seems so complicated.

Silver-spotted Skipper

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is in bloom in multiple locations at Huntley Meadows Park and the butterflies are loving it, including this Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) that I spotted this past Monday.
Generally I have trouble identifying little skipper butterflies and Wikipedia notes that there are more than 3500 species of skippers worldwide.  The Silver-spotted Skipper, though, is pretty easy to identify, given its distinctive colors and markings.
There are several species of milkweed in my favorite marshland park and I have noticed more Purple Milkweed this year than in the past. This is really good news, because Purple Milkweed is considered to S2 (“imperiled”) in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to the 2016 plant list of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Silver-spotted Skipper

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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A Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly (Epargyreus clarus) kept returning to these purple flowers yesterday at the edge of a small pond at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. I am not sure what kind of flower this is, but the Silver-spotted Skipper, the only skipper that I can reliably identify, really seemed to like it.

Some of my fellow photographers with whom I traveled to the gardens really enjoy photographing flowers—I seem to have reached a point at which I enjoy shooting flowers primarily as a beautiful backdrop for showcasing insects.

There are a lot of gardens in the Washington D.C. area that provide for wonderful photographic opportunities, many of which, like this one, have no admission fee. Although I really enjoy shooting at the marshland park that I feature here so often, it’s nice to venture out a little for a bit of variety.

Silver-spotted Skipper

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Can you name the most recognized Skipper butterfly in North America?  According to Wikipedia, it’s the Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly (Epargyreus clarus), like this one that I photographed recently at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland.

I have been seeing a lot of skippers this month and many of them look so much alike that it is difficult for me to identify them  The Silver-spotted Skipper’s colors may be a little drab, but I am happy that it is easy to identify it, which makes me happy, given that there are over 3500 different species of skippers worldwide, according to a separate article in Wikipedia.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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