Baby Stage Notes
This egg was stuck underneath a leaf close to the water. It's delicate and feels a little like it's full of jelly. It also shrivels up unless the air is very humid.
Juvenile Stage Notes
The egg hatched into a very awkward, gangly insect. It uses its front limbs to grab soft fruit, fish, and other insects, then holds them underneath its body to eat. It floats on water effortlessly, and paddles around with its longer middle set of legs. It isn't scared of its handler, but will dart away from anything else that moves.
Adult Stage Notes
Twin-Sailed Skippers are a large insect found in temperate waterways, wetlands, and lakes. They can even be found in brackish inlets, though seawater doesn't seem to agree with them. These omnivorous creatures will eat anything smaller than them that they can get a good grip on with their grasping front legs. Their other two sets of legs end in paddle-like claws that support their lightweight bodies through surface tension and especially water-repellant structures, allowing them to float around like living boats. While they can quickly dart away using their larger set of legs to 'row', Skippers will more often use their wings as sails to catch the wind and maneuver around while using as little energy as possible.
Skippers are not very clever creatures, but they are highly visual, and sensitive to vibrations in the water. They can learn to differentiate between a handler who feeds them and a threat, but they are very skittish, and training them to do anything other than come over for treats has been largely unsuccessful. However, given their food-motivated recall, some researchers have made a game out of racing Skippers across ponds.