Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the May 16, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Nowadays most afternoons the temperature breaks 100°F (38°C). The rains we had a couple of weeks back suddenly ended so now all the greenness I've been bragging about is getting a bit wilted and some leaves are showing brown edges.

Still, plants and animals "know" that if rains are going to come this year they'll be coming soon, and it's surprising how many new creatures are appearing that I've not seen before. That was the case this week when a certain dark butterfly became rather common in a single day, despite my not having noticed it for the last six months. You can see it below:


I sent the picture to volunteer insect-identifier Bea in Ontario, remarking that it had the body of a skipper but didn't hold its wings at the 45° angle that so many skippers do. Bea replied, "Don't forget that there is a subfamily of skippers called 'spreadwings' that hold their wings open like that." So this turns out to be one of the "spreadwing skippers," the Common Spurwing, ANTIGONUS EROSUS.

The species is distributed from Mexico through Central America into South America.