Monday, May 30, 2011

Hobomok Skipper

This is a Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok). It is differentiated from the similar Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) by having a yellow patch on the underside of its hindwing with one yellow cell that sticks out past the others. It also lacks the prominent yellow spot near the base of the forewing that Zabulon Skippers have. Even though both of these Poanes skippers are common, I see Zabulon Skippers far more than Hobomok Skippers. It is possible that I walk through areas with the Zabulon's host plants more frequently, but I suspect it has more to do with their breeding cycle. Zabulon Skipper has two flights in New Jersey, one peaking in June and the other in August, while Hobomok Skipper has one, in late spring. Since I do most of my butterflying in summer, I probably just miss most of their flight season.