Cobweb Skipper Hesperia metea

A dark and quickly here-and-gone springtime butterfly which is particularly attached to its bluestem grassy areas. Locally abundant for about a month in these habitats. Likely there are unknown colonies inside and around the mapped areas shown in current butterfly books, though true bluestem habitat is diminishing and threatened in many places. Cobwebs may require frequent burns for the best populations. Fun skippers when you do find them. Very variable in the degree of their white wing markings. The forewing white upper edge is fairly consistent. This is a fat female. This species is often accompanied in my area by Dusted Skippers.

Tom's interior Cobweb, which is also from Bell Slough. Note how orangey this one is. This is a bright male.

Exterior female Cobweb that appears loaded with egglets. Note the beautiful white stripe along the forward edge of the wings and the overall black appearance.

A strongly marked male from March 2006 at Bell. Males predominate first in spring. You can just see the orange pattern and long stigma mark inside. Almost no wear on the back edges and white forewing margins.