Appalachian Grizzled Skipper in NC

Randy Emmitt birdcr at
Thu May 11 21:14:55 EDT 2000


Today I found the second ever sighting or collection of a Grizzled Skipper
presumably a Appalachian Grizzled Skipper  (Pyrgus wyandot) in the Mountains
of North Carolina. I was in a meadow at it`s edge and it landed in front of
me. I studied it closely and grabbed my Glassberg`s to confirm it. I studied
Glassbergs then again the skipper and got all the field marks. It was very
worn on the hindwing and matched perfectly. I put away my Glassberg`s and
looked and it was gone. I searched for nearly  an hour to no avail. I had my
camera in hand, but I was alone so I wanted to confirm it before I missed a
photo and possibly the skipper ID. Actually the Grizzled Skipper was
considered to be absent.

The field it was in was full of Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis) and
strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) the grizzled Skippers host plants and 150+
American Coppers(new state high count). I`ll be adding new photos of  West
Virginia White, American Copper, Silvery Blue, Creole Pearly-eye, Dreamy
Duskywing, Sleepy Duskywing and Whirlabout to my Butterflies Found in North
Carolina site tommorrow and/ or saturday.

Randy Emmitt
Rougemont, NC
Butterflies Found in North Carolina Online!

Michael Gochfeld wrote:

> The Appalachian Grizzled Skipper  (Pyrgus wyandot) has not been recorded
> in NJ despite lots of searching, for many many years.  Dale Schweitzer
> and Art Shapiro provided evidence that wyandot is specifically distinct
> from centaurae (a primarily Old World butterfly with a race freija in
> Canada.
> Even in the days of Beutenmuller (1893) this was considered "exceedingly
> rare".  It occurred in trap rock glades in northern and northwestern New
> Jersey, at least through the 1930's (Rutgers specimens 1937 1938), but
> Comstock (1940) already considered it rare.  I think it was one of the
> species that disappeared during the heavy pesticide use era of mosquito
> control of the late 1940's early 1950's (after which there are no
> records). But I understand the species continues to disappear over a
> much wider area of the northeast (perhaps accelerated by anti-Gypsy Moth
> campaigns), or something else.
> In addition to (or perhaps in preference to the strawberry (Fragaria
> virginiana), Schweitzer lists the Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis) as
> its local host.
> Mike Gochfeld

More information about the Leps-l mailing list