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Species Pyrgus albescens - White Checkered Skipper - Hodges#3967

white checkered skipper? - Pyrgus albescens white checkered skipper? - Pyrgus albescens White Checkered Skipper - Pyrgus albescens White Checkered Skipper - Pyrgus albescens Checkered-Skipper - Pyrgus albescens Which Skipper? - Pyrgus albescens Pyrgus communis?  - Pyrgus albescens White Checkered-Skipper - Pyrgus albescens
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Hesperiidae (Skippers)
Subfamily Pyrginae (Spread-wing Skippers)
Genus Pyrgus (Checkered-Skippers)
Species albescens (White Checkered Skipper - Hodges#3967)
Hodges Number
3967
Identification
Adult: usually paler than Common Checkered Skipper, and male often has complete black checks in wing fringes (rather than partial, as in P. communis) - but read See Also section below. Upperside of male bluish-gray; female black. Both sexes have large white spots which form median bands across both wings. Male has costal fold enclosing scent scales on upperside of forewing. Underside of both wings dull white with dark gray bands.
Range
southern California and Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Texas; also recorded in Florida and is apparently spreading in the east (see comment by Randy Emmitt here). There are confirmed records in western Tennessee.
occasionally strays to southwestern Utah and central Texas
Season
all year in southern Texas; most of year elsewhere
Food
Larvae are believed to feed on plants in the mallow family, including globe mallows (Sphaeralcea), velvet-leaf (Abutilon), and poppy mallow (Callirhoe).
See Also
Where the ranges overlap (i.e. central California, southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and the southeastern states), Common Checkered Skipper female is indistinguishable, and male is positively identifiable only with the specimen in hand (by extending the penis and verifying the species under a lens).
Internet References
pinned adult images and species account, including distribution map (Butterflies and Skippers of North America, nearctica.com)