Dusted Skipper Atrytonopsis hianna

Another fleeting spring specialty. Striking skippers that are not well pictured in some butterfly manuals. A bluestem field lover that (in my area) occurs with the sometimes similar Cobweb Skipper. Both can be dominant in spring in this habitat. White facial markings give the Dusted a mask which the Cobweb also has but which the Clouded Skipper lacks. The posterior wing frosting is in a different conformation than in the Clouded Skipper. Both Cobweb and Dusted have the white leading edge along the forewing. The Clouded lacks this. This female has very faint forward wing spots. The white spot forward on the hindwing is diagnostic for this species when prominent. One of my favorite skippers.

Another Dusted gone pollen crazy. Note the prominent facial mask. And the very distinct forward hindwing spot. Wing frosting in this male much less demarcated.

The upper surfaces with the white markings clean against the brown background. Note those white eye liners.

And the most trusting Dusted in April in Bell. Filled the viewfinder and it never flinched.

TTThe pair shot from the 2016 spring emergence at Bell which was large. All the open road cuts had Dusted territories. It was the most common species on the count inside Bell in April. Note the sexual dimorphism which none of the guides really shows. Female is far less frosted.