There are two things in today’s mystery to guess:
What insect is this?
What flower is it feeding on?
Give me your guesses and I’ll check back later with your answers!
We had a correct guess on the flower–this is a Common Milkweed. The ‘butterfly’ is a skipper, the Silver-spotted Skipper. He wasn’t quite in the right position for you humans to see his thicker ends of the antenna that identify him as a skipper.
The underside of the wings, as shown above, have the silver spot that can usually be detected from a distance. However, if the skipper is sitting with the wings spread and the upper side is visible, that silver spot disappears.
Well, it’s hidden. Sorry, you have to learn two patterns if you are trying to identify this skipper, but it’s not too unusual for butterflies to have different coloring on the top and undersides.
We squirrels learned a fun fact about the Silver-spotted Skipper while looking it up: They almost never visit yellow flowers! Pink, like this milkweed are a favorite, as well as other pink, red, purple and blue flowers like thistle, red clover and blazing star.
Check out the website Butterflies and Moths of North America, if you’d like to learn more!