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Female Whirlabout, Polites vibex.

Image: Biosparite. [larger view]

The photographer writes: I encountered this species of grass skipper earlier this afternoon in the West 11th St. Park. It is nectaring at volunteers of Cut & Come Again Zinnias reseeding from 2006. One good way to have a butterfly garden on the cheap is to sow a lot of zinnia seeds.

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I suspect the common name is derived from the way it flies ("Adult flight is quick and darting": see "Butterflies and Moths of North America" site maintained by Montana State University/Big Sky Institute).

By biosparite (not verified) on 12 Oct 2007 #permalink