|Mulberry Wing Skipper - Rondeau Provincial Park|
Well, its only taken about 5 years to find this little guy! Mulberry winged Skippers are one of the last butterfly species in Southwestern Ontario that I have yet to see or photograph. My butterfly list is "fluttering" at 118 species. The only remaining species in Southwestern Ontario that I have yet to photograph is Dion Skipper - which I still might be able to find this year.
It was amazing to finally find this species because I've never seen it before and I heard that is can only be found in large sedge patches in July. It was neat to see this species because I saw so few other butterflies that afternoon (Sat July 14th). When I saw the skipper, it was quite close to the path. I immediately tried to photograph it - but as you might know - its hard to photograph anything in a sedgy area as a camera's autofocus has no idea what to focus on. Through the viewfinder of my SLR camera, I was able to make out the "airplane" markings on the underside of its wings that distinquish it from the other skippers. The butterfly took flight and briefly landed on a small white flowerhead for just a few seconds and then disappeared from my sight by slowly flying away from me into the sedge patch. The flight style of this species is something to behold in itself as it flies "weakly" above then in between sedges.
While riding my bike to see this butterfly, I noticed a Helliborine Orchid along the path - which is always nice to see. This species is not a native orchid species.
Further reading on these two species:
Mulberry Wing Skipper: