Speyeria Shenanigans and Pieris

Grkovich, Alex agrkovich at tmpeng.com
Fri Sep 7 13:17:43 EDT 2001

Someone asked me not long ago about how I distinguish a Northern (cocyta)
from a Pearl (tharos) Crescent. I gave a brief account of the field marks I
use (which I believe to be quite reliable), qualifying my  description with
1. The males are much easier than the females, and 2. The field marks are
much easier to distinguish in fresher than in worn specimens. But, I should
have also pointed out that the field marks of cocyta males "add up to a
look", which is exactly the terminology used by Klots to describe the field
marks of Boloria freija. So again, sometimes it is better to see the forest
rather than the trees, so to speak. Remembering that the "look" is sometimes
the key and then learning to recognize it is useful. 

By the way, has anyone out there seen recently or know of a locality in New
England for the Silvery Checkerspot? I last saw one in 1980 in Lewiston,

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Barb Beck [SMTP:barb at birdnut.obtuse.com]
> Sent:	Friday, September 07, 2001 12:55 PM
> To:	Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca; 'lepsl'; 'altabugs'
> Subject:	RE: Speyeria Shenanigans and Pieris
> Thanks Norbert for the pages on Pieris and Speyeria.
> Question to Norbert and others.  I can see differences in the butterflies
> pictured but being a novice cannot differentiate individual variation from
> variation between the species/subspecies/whatever.  The references I have
> are somewhat confusing.  Specifically what field marks are you using to
> differentiate these butterflies?
> My question about field marks is not just for my own curiosity but because
> even with my limited knowledge of these insects I am involved in teaching
> others how to identify them in the field
> I fully appreciate that my question is hardest to those of you intimately
> familiar with these butterflies.  You just know the butterfly because it
> simply looks like that butterfly.  You no longer have to think in terms of
> field marks that beginners must use to get a handle on the butterfly
> before
> they can identify the butterfly by "looks".  I am struggling hard
> preparing
> a learning CD of bird sounds from my recordings for my students. I am
> unfortunately to the point where a song just sounds like the song of a
> particular species.  My student need pointers to listen for until they
> reach
> that level... which they are never going to do if I do not quit looking at
> butterflies and get the earphones back on so I at least have the first CD
> cut for them on Monday.
> Barb Beck
> Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
> Barb.Beck at ualberta.ca
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-leps-l at lists.yale.edu [mailto:owner-leps-l at lists.yale.edu]On
> Behalf Of Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX
> Sent: September 6, 2001 1:24 PM
> To: 'lepsl'; 'altabugs'
> Subject: Speyeria Shenanigans
> I ran into some interesting Speyeria in southern BC this season. I have
> put
> an image and a request for comments on http://www.norbert.eboard.com under
> the heading of "BC Speyeria". This is not an easy group of butterflies to
> deal with, in part due to the usual conflicting descriptions and
> interpretations presented in the literature and possibly also due to
> inadequacy in presently recognized species-level taxonomy. The image is
> large when viewed on the web site. Right click on your mouse to copy the
> image into your system and resize it to suit your tastes and to see all
> four
> specimens in one view. Enjoy.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
> Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management
> 845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
> Phone 250-365-8610
> Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca
> http://www.env.gov.bc.ca
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