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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

        

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Zabulon Skippers  (Poanes zabulon)

It's tricky enough to keep track of all those different patterns on both sides of all four wings of all those grass skippers.  But then sexual dimorphism throws in another wild card.  Consider the Zabulon Skipper: although we humans might confuse the female with some other dark brown skippers of different species, we would never mistake her for a male of the same species.

Females: not just Little Brown Jobs

They're not as flashy as male Zabulons, but you know it's a female Zabulon if you're blown away by the beauty of those brushstroke-like white markings.   If you're especially hungry, these skippers might remind you of fancy chocolate candies with confectioner's sugar brushed on.

Female Zabulon Skipper at Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC on 8/31/07 Durham, 8/30/04 Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, NC 9/11/04 Female Zabulon Skipper, Cox Mountain Trail, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 5/6/07

Males

Durham, 7/31/04. Male Zabulon Skipper Durham, 8/8/03.

 

Durham, NC, 8/01/04.  This has to be a newly hatched adult, with his wrinkled wings and black markings. Zabulon Skipper, Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, NC on 8/31/04.  This skipper is somewhat faded and probably older than the others. Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, 8/17/05 Zabulon Skipper, NC Botanical Garden, Orange County, NC, 5/24/06

 

Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/24/05

Male and Female:  Scenes from two courtships

Durham, NC, 8/09/04. Mating ritual: the male stroked the female's wings with his antennae and ... Durham, 7/31/04.  She fluttered her wings in response.

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© Copyright 2005 Dorothy E. Pugh. All right reserved.