More than a quarter of all the butterfly species in New England are members of the Hesperiidae (or Skipper) family. Compared to large, showy butterflies (like the Spicebush Swallowtail and Red-spotted Purple), Skippers tend to be smaller, moth-like, and have darting flight. Many species are difficult for beginners to sort out, but some, like this male Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon), have unique wing markings that allow for quick identification. This species is a relative newcomer to Massachusetts, with the first confirmed sightings north of the Connecticut state line occurring in the late 1980s. To learn more about this butterfly's geographic expansion, visit the Butterflies of Massachusetts Zabulon Skipper profile page.