This is Ohio’s largest skipper. It is long-winged and brown, with band of yellow-orange rectangular spots on forewings and unique, silver-white patch at center of hindwings.
These butterflies are named for their quick, darting flight habits. Most skippers have antenna tips modified into narrow hook-like projections.
The Silver-spotted Skipper is found throughout most of the United States and into southern Canada. In the West, it is more restricted to mountainous areas.
The odd-looking caterpillar has an enlarged head capsule and a pronounced neck collar, making it look a bit like a cartoon alien. When disturbed, the caterpillars regurgitate a greenish, bitter-tasting, defensive chemical.
Silver-spotted Skippers frequent edges of forests, swamps, brushy areas, and other open areas where nectar plants are found. We often have them visit our deck garden. Adults have long “tongues” and feed on nectar from a variety of flowers.
I enjoy seeing these summertime creatures both at home and while out hiking.