Skippers: Best Seen In Close Up

Rainforest butterflies. Costa Rica. Hesperiidae. Pyrginae. Staphylus mazans. Mazans Scallopwing. Veridion Adventures.

Mazans Scallopwing, (Staphylus mazans)

Tropical Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus oileus, Pyrginae, Costa Rica, Veridion Adventures, Nature Photography, Travel, Adventure

Tropical Checkered Skipper, (Pyrgus oileus).

Skippers, you probably wouldn’t even notice them.  Many of the skippers are small, less than the size of your little fingernail, chocolate brown in color and fly close to the ground.  Even when you do capture one on camera, the diagnostic features required to identify it may not be obvious.  Quite often the female has different coloration and markings to the males.  Literature pertaining to skippers, guides and keys; they are all sadly lacking.  Skipper identification is therefore left to the experts and even then that may take some time.  I too, initially paid small attention to them, at least until I started to photograph them.  For whatever reason they seem to be sensitive to sound, light or the slightest movement, so when it comes to capturing the image you have spent so long composing, as the lens focuses, off they go.  If using flash, you also need to be using a high shutter speed because if you are using anything below 1/250 sec all you will have taken is a photograph of is the leaf where the skipper had been perched.

Purple-washed Skipper Butterfly, Panoquina lucas, Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae, Costa Rica, Veridion Adventures, Nature Photography, Veridion Adventures, Travel,

Purple-washed Skipper, (Panoquina lucas)

Trailside Skipper Butterfly, Anthoptus epictetus, Hesperiindae, Hesperiinae, Costa Rica, Nature Photography, Veridion Adventures, Travel

Trailside Skipper, (Anthoptus epictetus). Flash Jump.


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  1. “The list of sightings they gave me for having been on the grounds for just one or two hours far exceeded all of their sightings in the preceding week and a half.”

    Absolutely!! That is so true. That is why I like to save BdC til last.


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