A few New Mexico butterflies: Hesperiidae



The following photographs represent my chance encounters with butterflies. If you're looking for a systematic photographic survey, I recommend the Butterflies of New Mexico web site maintained by Joe Schelling. Joe has helped me with multiple IDs.


The images are organized alphabetically by taxonomic level. Unlike moths, virtually all butterflies all fall into a single superfamily, the Papilionoidea, so my taxonomic breakdown begins with a separate page for each family. The other pages cover the Lycaenidae (gossamer-winged butterflies), Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies), Papilionidae (swallowtails), and Pieridae (whites and sulphurs). The images are organized by subfamily, genus, and species. When you encounter a slide show, hover your cursor over the images to control the images. If you see an error, please contact me via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Bronze Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes aenus)


Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)


Afrianus Duskywing (Erynnis afranius)


Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo)


Dreamy Duskywing (Erynnis icelus)

My species ID for the August 2022 photo is based in part on the long labial palps (the two projections that extend forward from the head).


Meridian Duskywing (Erynnis meridianus)

Pacuvius Duskywing (Erynnis pacuvius)


Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus)


Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)


Pahaska Skipper (Hesperia pahaska)

The only way I could tell this Pahaska skipper from the green skipper you'll see below was thanks to a lot of help from Joe Schelling. If you look closely at the pictures, in one you'll see a no-see-um and in another you'll see two of them. For some reason they were hovering patiently as the Pahaska skipper did its thing. Perhaps they were waiting for it to vacate their territory; perhaps the were waiting to take advantage of something the skipper had done. One of the food sources for this butterfly's larvae is blue grama.


Green Skipper (Hesperia viridis)


Saltbush Sootywing (Hesperopsis alpheus)


Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)

Notice how on this skipper, the undersides of the wings are spotted.


Edward's Skipperling (Oarisma edwardsii)

This butterfly is tiny; the wings are about the size of the nails on my pinkies.


Garita Skipperling (Oarisma garita)


Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus)


Russet Skipperling (Piruna pirus)


Taxiles Skipper (Poanes  or Lon taxiles)


Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

A common butterfly in the Albuquerque area, from the river to the mountains.


Mountain Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus xanthus)


Rocky Mountains Cloudywing (Cecropterus rockiensis)

The English and Latin names provided above are new ones. Until late 2023, New Mexico occurrences of this skipper were classified as northern cloudywing, Cecropterus (or Thorybes) pylades.


Short-Tailed Skipper (Zestusa dorus)