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Checkered Skipper butterfly

Pyrgus

Description:

According to BugGuide this is a butterfly of the genus Pyrgus. A definitive identification cannot be made based on my photos.They have classified this as a butterfly in the genus Pyrgus and as either a Common Checkered Skipper or a White Checkered Skipper. The only way to make an accurate identification is by dissection. Both the Common and White females have an upper-side that is black in color and the male upper-sides are blue-gray in color. Both have white spots that are large forming a band across both wings. The underside of both are dark gray or a dull white. Both have a wing span of 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Ref: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec... https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec...

Habitat:

Habitat for both include: prairies, meadows, fields, gardens, pastures, and wooded areas with open spaces. White Checkered range: "Low altitudes in southern California, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, west and South Texas; Florida, and Mexico. A rare stray to southwest Utah, and central Texas." Common Checkered range: "Most of the temperate United States south to Gulf coast, w. Texas, se. Arizona, southern California, and mountains of northern Mexico. Colonizes as far north as central Alberta, southern Ontario, and southern New England. It cannot survive very cold winters and may not be a permanent resident north of the 40th parallel." Diet: Both feed on the nectar of a variety of plants. Caterpillar hosts: Plants within the mallow family. (It is noted that this is not positively reported for the White Checkered Skipper.) Ref: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec... https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/spec...

Notes:

This was an interesting find for two reasons. First, it is a beautiful butterfly that at first glance I thought was a species of moth. Second, it was interesting to find, after research, that the Whited Checkered and Common Checkered are so similar that there are only 2 ways to distinguish one from the other (dissection or closer examination of its anatomy). Cool Facts: The White Checkered and Common Checkered are both herbivores that play a role in pollination, and serve as a food source for other predators. Ref: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-natur...

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2 Comments

Dawn Lopez-Garanzuay
Dawn Lopez-Garanzuay 8 months ago

Thank you for your comment!

i_munasinghe
i_munasinghe 8 months ago

So beautiful!

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Lat: 29.42, Long: -98.46

Spotted on Mar 3, 2019
Submitted on May 30, 2019

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