The Weedpicker is out of town today- but I thought you might enjoy this post from July of 2009. The info is still good-
Well Pilgrims, Killdeer Plains is a great location for lots of wildlife, and some manly stuff too. Not just a bunch of katydids dressed up in pink. Don't even think about putting pink on this skipper, cause it is named for John Wayne, THE DUKE.
Duke's Skipper photo by Warren Uxley
These skippers are are a real man's butterfly. OK, maybe they were not named for John Wayne, but they are very special. Don't look for them in your abreviated field guides either, because they are not there. This insect is a rarity in Ohio's butterfly world, for 2 reasons. It has a very short flight period, and it is wetland related. Since wetlands are on the decline, Ohio has lost 90% of its wetlands- this is a great reason to purchase a "Duck" Stamp.
Here is the host plant for the Duke Skipper, Lake sedge, Carex lacustris. It doesn't always need a lake, as it grows in wet areas and roadside ditches at Killdeer Plains. It is well past fruiting in mid-July, but here is a shot from earlier in the year, when you can see the manly fruiting bodies on this 2-3 foot tall sedge. Don't get yer knickers in a bunch over a fistful of flowers. Real men like sedges.
And here is the flower the Duke Skippers were nectaring on- Winged Loosestrife, Lythrum alatum. This is NOT the bad loosestrife eating up our wetlands, this is a much rarer Ohio native. Well behaved and a joy to see in a wet-scape, look for the much narrower leaves to key it out from the miserable invader, Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria.
Killdeer Plains isn't big enough for 2 kinds of loosestrife, so that purple stuff better head on out of town. The Duke is running this section of ranch.