Sunday, October 10, 2010

Checkered-Skipper: Common (Pyrgus communis) or White (Pyrgus albescens)

We took a field trip to Oconee and Greene counties yesterday. We stopped in north Greene county to photograph sunflowers. After a few minutes, several white and brown spread-winged skippers appeared and worked the flowers. They were frenetic. They’d spend a few seconds working a flower and then move on to another. In spite of this, I managed to get a few shots.

These are Common Checkered-Skippers (Pyrgus communis) or White Checkered-Skippers (Pyrgus albescens). There is a debate that Pyrgus albescens has displaced Pyrgus communis in this area. However, the only way to differentiate between these species is to examine the sexual organs of the males. So I have to settle for a split identification. These guys were hardly hanging around for a photograph let alone a physical examination.

I've only seen one similar butterfly previously but was unable to photograph it. It was in Walton County and had much more white than this one.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources.
Westcentral Georgia Butterflies by Michael Beohm: Common/White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis/Pyrgus albescens)


- Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

- White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens)

Butterflies and Moths of North America:

- Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

- White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens)

Butterflies of the Carolinas and Virginias
- Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)

- White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens)

1 comment:

Ben and Carrie Tracks said...

beautiful pic! My husband and I are wildlife field biologists and not super keen on all the invertebrates we encounter - although we do photograph them, and maybe you could tell us what we have shot at our blog?

Nice to stumble across your blog, looking forward to following your adventures :)