Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Cleat Tufted-Skipper, POLYCTOR CLEAT

from the December 6, 2015 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

This week as I was peeing on the compost heap, something unmistakably new turned up right below me, clearly liking something he'd found there. That's it above.

With that thick body, hooked antennae and a tendency to hold the wings lower than most butterflies, this was obviously of that large butterfly group known as skippers. Skippers tend to be less colorful than other butterflies, often being mottled brown and gray, but this one's broad, brilliantly white splotches set it apart. When I sent the image to volunteer identifier Bea in wintry Ontario, quickly she replied "Oh boy! Oh boy! A new mariposa!" the word mariposa in Spanish meaning butterfly.

Bea says that it looks like the Cleat Tufted-Skipper, POLYCTOR CLEAT, occurring from Mexico south to Costa Rica.

Normally when Bea sends a name I'm able to find interesting information about it on the Internet. However, after lots of Googling, I can report that not much information is available about the species. Several pictures of it are posted here and there but usually only the location where the pictures were taken is provided, and sometimes not even that.

So, by reporting here that our Cleat Tufted-Skipper was found on a compost heap in central Yucatán in early December, at the edge of a secondary forest with a mixture of perennial and seasonally deciduous trees, maybe we're increasing what's known about this species a great deal.