These small, sturdy butterflies visit the garden frequently. You might first admire them for their colorful wings or sturdy, furry bodies. Then take a close look at their fabulous tongues. In the photo at the top, the tongue forms a spiral. In the photos below, one Skipper licks the foot of another. This pair flitted around the Chinese Abelia for several minutes. And you wondered why I call this a wild life garden!

They are so agile that some call them “nectar thieves” because they are able to lick out the nectar without brushing the pollen and then transferring it to another flower.

Silver-Spotted Skipper pair (Epargyreus clarus)
Close up: such a tasty foot!
Can you bend your tongue at a right angle? This Silver-Spotted Skipper can! The plant is a native Pickerelweed.
This Skipper can too! I have this one identified as a Grass Skipper, but am not sure.
Notice the groove running down the length of the tongue.

Another chunky, furry Grass Skipper.