Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Belus Skipper or Beautiful Beamer, PHOCIDES BELUS

from the September 4, 2011 Newsletter issued from Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 kms north of Mahahual, Quintana Roo, México

Skippers are big-headed, thick-bodied, stubby-winged butterflies that quickly dart or "skip" about. With more than 3500 species worldwide, mostly in the American tropics, the Skipper Family, the Hesperiidae, is huge. We've seen lots of them, and they're mostly brownish, rather plain, and often hard to identify. And then there are some like the one shown above.

That's a Belus Skipper, sometimes called Beautiful Beamer, PHOCIDES BELUS, and it's about the prettiest skipper I've ever seen. Not only does its powder-blue hue scintillate in sunlight but also the wings' transparent "windows" glow with whatever color stands below them, in this case the rosy pinkness of a Goat's-foot Morning-glory, a species blossoming fulsomely these days. Belus Skippers are found from the southernmost tip of Texas, where they accidentally turn up time to time, south to Costa Rica.