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Skipper on Coneflower

Skipper on Coneflower
Photo Information
Copyright: John Reasbeck (ubc64) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 21 N: 208] (789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-26
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon A650 IS
Exposure: f/4, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Butterflies [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-27 8:38
Viewed: 4503
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this photo earlier this summer. It shows a skipper butterfly trying to get a little nectar from a coneflower.

When I first saw a skipper, several years ago, I thought that it was a moth. However, they are really small butterflies. The “Field Guide to New England”, by the National Audubon Society, describes the differences between moths and butterflies: “Moths’ antennae are either feather-like or wiry, and lack the clubbed tip of butterflies’ antennae. Moths rest with their wings outstretched, folded, or at an angle above the body; butterflies rest with their wings outstretched or held together vertically, like a sail. Moths can fly day and night, while butterflies fly only by day.” That being said, and just to confuse things a little, the “Field Guide to Butterflies”, also by the National Audubon Society, states that Folded-winged Skippers: “somewhat resemble moths, with their small, triangular wings and flat, hairy bodies. When basking in the sun, they hold their fore wings and hind wings at different angles rather like folded paper airplanes.”

The first indication I had that this skipper might be a Folded-winged Skipper, and more specifically a Crossline Skipper (Polites origenes), came from the second Audubon guide referenced above. The coloring, body and range certainly look right. However, the markings, with dots on the upper wings, appear to be different in the skipper I have presented. The female of the species has more subdued dots, but they have reduced coloring too, as compared to the male. Another possibility, according to the Audubon butterflies guide, is the Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistocles). If anyone out there is able to provide a more definitive identification, I would be most appreciative.

I found additional, very useful and interesting information about skippers at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skipper_(butterfly).

If you wish to read about coneflowers, specifically Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea), the following URL provides helpful information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea_purpurea.

tuslaw, techranger, Janice, nglen, chrisemt74, writerscrawlz, Art_R, jaycee, Adanac has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-09-27 9:13]

Extremely sharp and colorful image John,
Perfect exposure and very good DOF.
Thanks for providing the links to the other sites, very interesting info!

Beautifully done John... excellent POV and detail... lighting great and processed just right. Informative notes as well, but can't help you out on the ID. :)


  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-09-27 13:08]

Hi John
Good shot of the echinacea and the skipper. (I always thought they were moths too - they certainly look like moths with their thick furry bodies)
Well composed image, good details, colours and sharpness. Yes, nicely captured and well exposed.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-27 13:19]

Hi John. This is a very colourful picture thanks to the flower. It makes the little Butterfly look so small. But you have taken it with fine detail and sharp focusing. well done TFS.

Amazing detail and sharpness! Very nice composition. The colors make this a gorgeous image!


This is a very pleasing macro shot. I love the colors, contrast, details, and the overall composition. Your notes are superb as well.

  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-09-27 22:08]

Hi John , a very nice image , of both flower and skipper , good details and nice bright colors , thanks for sharing it

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-28 10:45]

Hi John,

A magnificent shot of this Skipper and the striking looking flower. This gives a good perspective of the size of the butterfly. Perfect focus of the Skipper and the Coneflower. The colors are brilliant - the details are razor sharp. The composition is wonderful.


Hi John
The detail is really sharp here. The details show off the tiny little sparkles in the Skippers wing. The colours are spot on and lighing is nice and soft. An excellent macro and note.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-11-12 14:00]

Hello John, nice macro! I love the POV on that one and the sharpness. Well composed too, thanks!


  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-05-30 18:58]

Hello John,
This is an incredibly beautiful composition with outstanding sharpness and colours throughout. One of your many superb images and one of my favourites.

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