Fiery Skipper Eclosion (Sort of)

Here’s how the morning went:

“The pupae has turned transparent, so I know it will be hatching soon. Let me just look away for thirty seconds, so I can set some things up-”

“….where did you come from?”

Yes, the little scrub waited until I looked away, and he got out fast! If nothing else, there was a valuable lesson learned – these guys do not take very long to eclose. You can see in the picture above his wings are still rumpled from how they were stored in the pupae.

A moment later and he’d completely unfurled them. Larger butterflies tend to need to hang for a while to pump their wings full of fluid, but this little guy barely needed any time at all.

I coaxed him onto my finger, where he sat for a while. He managed a short little flight when he was accidentally disturbed, but didn’t go very far. His wings must not have been completely dry. I offered my finger again and he climbed back up.


He’s so pretty and crisp when he’s fresh out. His antennae were bright orange at the tips.


He started to open his wings. I can tell he’s male because of how orange the upper sides are. A female would have much more brown.

He hopped off my finger onto a bush when he was ready. Not five seconds later, another male came by and started trying to court him. This isn’t uncommon, as bugs are not very discerning. Unsurprisingly my skipper wasn’t interested, but the other male didn’t want to take no for an answer. So, faster than one could say “Sorry I don’t swing that way,” my skipper ran off, the male chasing after him. It’s a rough life, being a bug.

Farewell, bigworm. I hope you have a good little bug life.

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