Skipper on verbena flowers: a follow-up
FLASH: This just in (as news announcers like to say). After the first comment about this morning’s post showing a skipper in the genus Nastra, I wondered (to myself) how I’d missed the fact that this butterfly had only one antenna. That prompted me to go back to the set of pictures I’d taken of the skipper, and it was clear from some of the other images that the butterfly had its normal complement of two antennae. That in turn led me to zoom in on the full version of the image I’d shown you, a detail of which I’ve added below.
It just so happens that the butterfly’s right antenna (the one we see on our left) was oriented in such a way that most of it pointed straight at the camera and therefore couldn’t be seen. If you look at this enlargement, you’ll see the part of the “missing” antenna closest to the butterfly’s head, and you’ll also see the knob at the tip, though it was far enough forward that it appears as an elongated brown blur. When looking at the picture as a whole, I’d taken that hazy patch to be a marking on the eye itself, and it was one of the things that reminded me of the fallen mustang grapes I photographed a short distance away on the same visit.
By the way, the link to the fallen grapes in the previous post wasn’t initially working but Wanda Hill alerted me (thanks) and I fixed the problem, so if you were frustrated by the non-working link, try it again now.
© 2014 Steven Schwartzman