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Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus

Fiery Skippers are small golden butterflies that are found in the southern United States, West Indies, Central America, and northern South America.  They are most often observed on sandhills, flatwoods, and open disturbed areas such as roadsides, weed lots, old fields, and utility corridors.

Fiery Skippers, along with Whirlabout Skippers and Sachem Skippers, are active orange skippers that are widespread and common throughout Florida and the southern United States and are often observed together.  Fiery Skippers can be distinguished by the wavy black margins along the upper surfaces of the forewings and hindwings.  As common with all skippers, these butterflies can hold their wings in a “triangular” shape, where the forewings are held upright and the hindwings are folded flat.

The host plants are grasses such as Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass.  Several broods are produced each year.  Adults can be observed in Florida year round.

The top two photographs were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County; the lower photograph was taken around Lake Parker in Polk County.