While we’re focusing on the lovely little checkered-skipper, it’s hard to ignore the flies in the background. Apparently they were dive bombing the skipper; the naturalist in us wonders why. Common checkered-skippers are aptly named. They are reportedly the most common and widespread skipper in North America and like other checkered-skippers (genus Pyrgus) sport black and white checkered upper surfaces. The pattern, combined with the blue-tinged hairs, makes them look like a blue-gray blur as they dart by. They are on the wing from May to September in the north in a wide variety of open situations, including disturbed areas, from low to high elevations. There are two broods a year in our area, with adults nectaring from flowers and larvae feeding on mallows (Malvaceae), including AltheaAbutilonMalva.
Photo by Kristi DuBois on 8/10/20 near Seeley Lake.