[SoWestLep] Attn BF Count Compilers re: White/Common Checkered-Skipper

Hank & Priscilla Brodkin hankb at theriver.com
Tue Jun 26 10:35:36 EDT 2001

"Dameron, Wanda" wrote:
> Hi,
>         The question arose about White vs. Common Checkered-Skippers (Pyrgus
> albescens/P.communis) this weekend on a BF Count and did a bit of
> research that you may find interesting and helpful or confusing....
>         John Burns (D/Ent., Smithsonian, Wash DC) did a research study over
> many years of over 4200 genitalia of this Pyrgus group that looks very
> similar.  (Ref. Journal of the Lep Society, Vol. 54, #2, Nov. 2000 pg
> 52-71; also presented at Lep Soc Mtg in Az 8/99.)
>         Burns' results are represented on a distributional map.  Working east,
> Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and So. Carolina
> states north are all Common Checkered-Skippers.  Southern Cal is
> entirely albescens, EXCEPT for 1 specimen (1936) taken in Tahquitz Cyn,
> San Jacinto Mts. Riverside.   While White Ch.-Sk are primarily in the
> southern areas of the other states, there are areas of overlap.  Should
> you have a question, best to check the referenced issue, OR if you get
> desperate, email me your County and aprx. location of county within
> state and will check it out.

Rich Bailowitz, for the southeastern Arizona counts, where there appears
to be a complete overlap, has been working on this for a couple of years
now.  So far the only way to differentiate these species has been to
examine the male genitalia.  In our areas at least they had best be
identified as Pyrgus communis/albescens unless you are prepared to
disect each male that you find.
Last year on the Portal Count Rich examined one male - expecting to find
that it was albescens because it was found at low elevation.  It turned
out to be communis.  Our total for this complex was 45 individuals on
this count. We still have a lot to learn - and my advice would be if you
are anywhere near the zone of overlap indicated in Burns' great article
- let it go as either.  It will not be the end of the world ;-)
	             Hank & Priscilla Brodkin
	          Carr Canyon, Cochise County, AZ
                   Send Mailto:hankb at theriver.com
             SouthEast Arizona Butterfly Association
         "Butterflies of Arizona - a Photographic Guide" 
    by Bob Stewart, Priscilla and Hank Brodkin - due September 2001


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