Common Names in English:
White Checkered, White Checkered-Skipper
'The Hesperiidae are members
of the Superfamily
Hesperioidea. Worldwide in distribution, skippers are richest in the tropics. More than 3,500 species are described, with approximately 275 in North America, many of which are found only in Arizona and Texas. Most skippers are small to medium, usually orange, brown, black, white, or gray. A few have iridescent
colors. Skippers have large eyes, short antennae (often with hooked
clubs), stout bodies, and three pairs of walking legs
. Their flight is often rapid, making wing
movement appear blurred. Adults
of most species have long probicscises and feed
nectar, but some also take up nutrients
from bird droppings. Males have scent scales
found in modified forewing
patches. Males of most species locate mates by perching
and giant-skippers), though some patrol, especially in the open-winged skippers. Globular
are laid singly.
Pyrgines are primarily tropical American species of the Family Hesperiidae. There are approximately 80 North American species. Most genera are tropical, but the duskywings and checkered-skippers are mainly temperate and also occur in Eurasia . Adults of many species land with their wings open, although some perch with their wings closed or half open. They imbibe nectar from flowers, and males of many species take in moisture from moist sand or mud . Some adults also feed on bird droppings. Many tropical species rest underneath leaves when inactive . Females lay eggs singly. Most species lay eggs directly on host-plant leaves, while others lay on nearby plants or objects. Almost all species use broad-leafed plants as their caterpillar hosts, and caterpillars live in rolled-leaf or webbed-leaf shelters .
Species Pyrgus albescens
Paler than Pyrgus communis. Male often has complete black checks in wing fringes . Upperside of male is blue-gray; female is black. Both sexes have large white spots which form median bands across both wings. Male has a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the upperside of the forewing . Underside is dull white with dark gray bands. Positive identification can be made only by dissection and scrutiny of the male genitalia . (ref. 104974)
Paler than Pyrgus communis. Male often has complete black checks in wing fringes . Upperside of male is blue-gray; female is black. Both sexes have large white spots which form median bands across both wings. Male has a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the upperside of the forewing . Underside is dull white with dark gray bands. Positive identification can be made only by dissection and scrutiny of the male genitalia .
Wing span : 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm).
Open, sunny places with low vegetation and some bare soil including prairies, fields , roadsides, yards , gardens, and low deserts.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reliably reported. Probably several plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) including globemallows (Sphaeralcea), velvet-leaf (Abutilon), and poppy mallow (Callirhoe). Adult food: Nectar from a variety of plants.
Similar to that of Common Checkered-skipper.
Flight: All year in South Texas, most of the year elsewhere.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Latreille, 1829
- Snodgrass, 1938
- Heymons, 1901
- Order: Lepidoptera () - Linnaeus, 1758 - Butterflies and Moths
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- Epiclass: Hexapoda ()
- Superclass: Panhexapoda ()
- Infraphylum: Atelocerata () - Heymons, 1901
- Subphylum: Mandibulata () - Snodgrass, 1938
- Phylum: Arthropoda () - Latreille, 1829 - Arthropods
- Superphylum: Panarthropoda () - Cuvier
- Infrakingdom: Ecdysozoa () - A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Protostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Name Status: Accepted Name .
Members of the genus Pyrgus
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 27 species and subspecies in this genus:
P. albescens (White Checkered) · P. alveus (Large Grizzled Skipper) · P. alveus alveus (Large Grizzled Skipper) · P. andromedae (Alpine Grizzled Skipper) · P. armoricanus (Oberthür's Grizzled Skipper) · P. bellieri (Foulquiers Grizzled Skipper) · P. cacaliae (Dusky Grizzled Skipper) · P. carlinae (Carline Skipper) · P. carthami (Safflower Skipper) · P. centaureae (Grizzled Skipper) · P. centaureae freija (Freija's Grizzled Skipper) · P. cirsii (Cinquefoil Skipper) · P. communis (Common Checkered) · P. malvae (Grizzled Skipper) · P. malvae malvae (Grizzled Skipper) · P. malvoides (Southern Grizzled Skipper) · P. oileus (Tropical Checkered) · P. philetas (Desert Checkered-Skipper) · P. ruralis (Two-Banded Checkered-Skipper) · P. ruralis lagunae (Laguna Mountains Skipper) · P. scriptura (Small Checkered-Skipper) · P. serratulae (Olive Skipper) · P. sidae (Yellow-Banded Skipper) · P. sidae sidae (Yellow-Banded Skipper) · P. warrenensis (Warren's Skipper) · P. wyandot (Appalachian Checkered-Skipper) · P. xanthus (Mountain Checkered)
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- Bibliography (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1993. url p. 14, p. 422.
- Catalogue of the family-group, genus-group and species-group names of the Hesperioidea (Lepidoptera) of the world / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1994. url p. 3.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed February 26, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from provider.
- LepIndex: The Global Lepidoptera Names Index
- Opler, Paul A., Harry Pavulaan, Ray E. Stanford, Michael Pogue, coordinators. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Mountain Prairie Information Node. March 26, 2007.
- Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators. 2009. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version of April 17, 2009).
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 26, 2008:
- Illinois Natural History Survey
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2630598
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-187384.0
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEP38060
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 171605