Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the April 22, 2012 Newsletter issued from the woods of the Loess Hill Region a few miles east of Natchez, Mississippi, USA

Down at the Refuge on a blade of grass at a flooded field's edge a dark skipper showed up, shown above. Obligingly he turned to provide the upper view below:

Dun Skipper, EUPHYES VESTRIS, top view
Volunteer identifier Bea in Ontario quickly pegged this as the Dun Skipper, EUPHYES VESTRIS, whose habitat is described as "Wet areas near deciduous woods such as meadows, seeps, swamp edges, and streams," which was exactly where we were. Dun Skippers occur from coast-to-coast in southern Canada and all the way south through the US. Its caterpillars feed on members of the Sedge Family, the Cyperaceae, which are very common in our area.

So, one reason to highlight the species here is because it's so common that it's a good one to know. Also, since we were granted such vivid pictures, it's just a pleasure to look at this little creature, admiring his Stealth-Fighter-jet design, the composure of his brown hairs and the golden aura sunlight etches upon them, the neatly coiled proboscis, etc.

Also, this is a good time to mention that Bea and I, since we had such fun with the Yucatan's butterfly page, are building up a "Butterflies of the Natchez, Mississippi Area" page. The beginning of our page is at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/a/natchez/.

Bea is even starting one for her part of Ontario, at http://www.backyardnature.net/n/a/boo/.