Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the May 30, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

The rainy season's on-time arrival continues to bring forth butterfly species not seen during the dry season, and some are pretty interesting. For example, skippers constitute a family of butterflies, the Hesperiidae, usually easily distinguished by their heads and bodies being very large in proportion to their stubby wings. Also, the vast majority of skippers I've seen were very dark. That's why I was tickled when white skippers suddenly started appearing this week. You can see one dazzling in the sunlight below:

Laviana White-Skipper, HELIOPETES LAVIANA

Volunteer butterfly identifier Bea in Ontario pegs this as the Laviana White-Skipper, HELIOPETES LAVIANA, a species typical of the edges of brushy areas, trails, roadsides, open woodlands, thorn forests and streamsides from Argentina north through Central America and Mexico to southern Texas, sometimes straying to northern Texas. Its caterpillar hosts feed on members of the Hibiscus Family, of which we have an abundance here, particularly the weed known as Velvet-leaf, genus Abutilon.