Callophrys (Incisalia) records in New Hampshire/Maine

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Fri Sep 28 15:08:56 EDT 2001

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donald S. Chandler" <dsc1 at>
To: <LEPS-L at>
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 1:18 PM
Subject: Callophrys (Incisalia) records in New Hampshire/Maine

> I have been trying to find the original publications that document the
> presence of the western pine elfin in northern New England (Coos Co. New
> Hampshire, and Oxford Co. Maine), wihout much luck (beyond splotches of
> color in field guides).  The White Mountain National Forest wants to know
> if this species has been found in areas under their jurisdiction.  If you
> could communicate to me the appropriate literature citation, or where to
> find it (it doesn't seem to be in Zoo Record), I would appreciate it.
> Don Chandler
> University of New Hampshire

Interesting.  I went to check the lit on hand and here is what I found.
First, I checked the 1974 publication by A.E. Brower "A List of the
Lepidoptera of Maine - part 1 the Macrolepidoptera"  published by U. of
Maine at Orno -  I found no mention of eryphon in Maine.  I then went back
to the 1960 "Lepidoptera of New York and Neighboring States" by W.T.M.
Forbes and it is not there either. (This is an excellent publication by the
way with lots of interesting info - so if anyone ever has a chance to get a
copy of it do so.) Well, let's just check the 1951 Peterson Field Guide by
Klots -- nothing there either.  (Don, has likely checked all these

In Butterflies of North American (1975) by Howe eryphon is listed as
eastward to N. Michigan. In Butterflies of North America (1986) by Scott
the range map just gets into VT, NH, and extreme western ME.  Scott notes:
"The eastern N.A. records [of eryphon] are recent, possibly of introduction
from transplanted trees or Christmas trees. "  In the Butterflies of Canada
(1998) by Layberry, Hall, and Lafontaine eryphon is cited as mainly western
but "stretches sporadically east across Canada as far as northern New
Brunswick."  They note however a very interesting record of a 1912 specimen
from southern Ontario (Port Hope) based on a specimen so labeled in the
Canadian National Collection.

The best place to check for historical records of this species in the
northeastern US is in the season summaries of the Lepidopterists' Society
News.  This is issued every spring and goes back decades.  It is the
primary source and documentation of Lepidoptera of North America.  It's
reliability is great as the vast majority of species records are based on
actual vouchered and professionally confirmed material. This source is 100%
the source of the earliest records of eryphon in NH and ME.

Lastly, I sure hope the White Mountain National Forest people are not
looking to give some special status to a butterfly that is a transient and
not an endemic part of the eastern fauna.  A species that is sprayed as a
pest in the west should not become a taxon one could be jailed for
collecting in the east!  Nor should any tax dollars be spent on it in the
east - except for a survey to see if it might become a pest on some of the
eastern Pines.

Ron Gatrelle


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