This is a slightly belated post from our Wednesday "trial run" of the Colima trail (9 miles round trip of Laguna Meadows trail + Colima Trail + Pinnacles Trail for the return), backdated to reflect the day-of-hike as opposed to Saturday, when I'm finally getting the photos sorted!
Since Matt and I were more focused on getting our ears back in tune with the higher elevations, and getting off the trail before we ran out of snacks and water, we didn't exactly stop to check every butterfly - they all looked like sootywings or duskywings or the little blackish skippers that never land. Indeed, the only one that landed was one that I backtracked for, snapped a few horrid photos of through binoculars, and then managed a decent shot...
This afternoon, flipping through Kaufman's butterfly book, I couldn't place it. It didn't fit any of the duskywings or sooty wings or anything that was pictured with closed wings. So an e-mail to dear friend and lep-enthusiast Nick Block resulted in the official ID:
Chisos Banded-Skipper (Autochton cincta)
The kicker? Check the range map in the link above!
So that little fellow, while unassuming, is arguably one of the 'best' bugs that we've seen to date! Until the ID was made, our most notable sighting of the day had been on our way out of the Chisos Basin, just before the Lost Mine Trail - a black bear with THREE cubs happened to be traipsing along the side of the mountain as we passed. Wonderful to have them back in the region!