Sachem (female skipper)
Atalopedes campestris
October 7, 2012

  Earlier in the week I was at Jo Hays Vista, ostensibly for hawk watching. The hawks were not to be seen that day, but I noticed various butterflies enjoying aster nectar. It didn't take me long to switch focus from the far to the near distance.

To my surprise, I came across (for me) a new skipper, called sachem (Atalopedes campestris). Odd name for a butterfly, but such are the breaks. As with most skippers, it is small and pretty.

Female sachem, wings open
  Apparently, I had come across a female sachem. The easiest ID mark is with the wings up, when the sachem shows "square" dots. It is (I believe) the only local Pennsylvania skipper with square dots.

The female sachem's square dots are somewhat dimmer than a male's.

Female sachem, wings up
  Here the female sachem is sharing space with a male eastern-tailed blue. (I've a female eastern-tailed blues on another page, so I'll have to add a guy page.)

The flowers, incidentally, were identified by a Facebook friend as calico aster.

Female sachem and male eastern-tailed blue
  As for size, I'd say about a large thumbnail (in comparison to a least skipper, which would be a pinky nail).

Photo note: I used the Pentax K20D, with the Sigma 150-500mm lens, on October 4, 2012.

My Pennsylvania butterfly page

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