Hesperiidae

The Hesperiidae, commonly known as Skippers or Darters for their quick flight, are a tribe of small, stoutly built butterflies which I have never bothered to sort out properly. Here’s my excuse:

There are at least eight species in that collection – eight of the fifty-odd which Peter Valentine identifies here as Townsville region residents. Clicking on the scientific names in his catalogue will take you to their pictures, but the quickest overview of the family (100+ nationally) is this page on Don Herbison-Evans’ site.

Their resting posture is very characteristic – no other butterflies, so far as I know, rest in that forewings-up, hindwings-flat position – so telling them apart from other families is very easy. But nearly all of them are black-brown-orange and have a wingspan of about 30 mm, and telling them apart from each other is (as even Wikipedia notes) frustratingly difficult. Some day I might have time to get to know them better.

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