A few more from this past week, including a rare stunner. Not this tiny one, it’s an Eastern Tailed Blue, one of our smallest butterflies. About the size of your index fingernail. More gray than blue, but in flight they do give a pale blue impression.
This Red-banded Hairstreak is also quite small, about thumbnail size. It’s one of the more common Hairstreaks, and one I expect to find feeding on our Sedum, as this one is, head down. The red band is obvious, the hairstreak refers to the little hairlike tails extending from the wings.
This is a Skipper, I don’t know which kind, and I can’t be bothered to try to figure that out. There are about a dozen species of these small butterflies, a little larger than Hairstreaks, that all look about the same, and can only be identified with hard work and patience, mainly by differences in shade and spotting on the wings.
Most Skippers are boring, but when I spotted this one on one of our Butterfly Bushes, my heart skipped a beat. This is a Long-tailed Skipper, much larger than the usual ones, about two inches, with a cool blue feather-like covering on the back and those long tails at the wing ends. I’d only seen one twice before as far as I can recall, and it was a first for our yard.
This is my favorite of the many pictures I took, looking very birdlike.
Here’s an underwing side view showing just how long those tails are. A rare sighting, and a thrilling one for me. Ellen came home a little while later, and was just in time to see it fly off for good, which is too bad, but typical!