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Turquoise Longtail - Urbanus evona

Turquoise Longtail - Urbanus evona
Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
November 2, 2010

Images of this individual: tag all
Turquoise Longtail - Urbanus evona Turquoise Longtail - Urbanus evona

U. esta?
How is this individual told from U. esta? This key suggests it might require genitalic examination.

Omitted By MPG and Pohl
Sorry, I neglected to follow up on this. MPG and Pohl et al are following Jonathan Pelham's treatment which is on the side of caution. There appear to be no voucher specimens and is therefore omitted.

I think the standard at BugGuide can be less rigid. Since Glassberg believes that these can be identified without dissection and has identified this particular example, I have no issue with the determination at BugGuide especially since we are documenting the issue. I have no expertise with this genus and would defer to others.

This doesn't really address your question which I think can only be answered by Glassberg himself.

The field marks mentioned by Glassberg in his Mexico field guide are not consistently different between evona and esta, based on the specimen photos at the Butterflies of America website. If I remember correctly, Andy Warren somewhere has questioned many of the skipper field marks mentioned by Glassberg. In my opinion, Warren is more reliable as an expert source than Glassberg.

To be clear, I don't think this is too big of a deal. I just wanted to find out if there was more info on distinguishing between the two species. I think it's much better to leave it as evona/esta, but it's all good.

I think we are on the same page. And again, I lack expertise and would defer to those BugGuide editors who do have a better understanding of this group. So feel free to move as you see fit.

Definitely on the same page, I'd say. I might move it if I ever find the comment from Andy Warren to confirm my memory. :-)

ID info
How was this identified? Pelham's 2008 checklist (1) states, "This species was recorded from Texas on the basis of a photograph by Glassberg (2004: 34-35) and commented upon by Sill (2004: 25) and Reese (2004: 42). Several photographs have since been attributed to this species. It belongs to a group of skippers that can only be positively identified by genitalic examination; it is excluded until a specimen can be examined." The online version, last revised July1, 2017, here continues to omit this species.

I use the Glassberg Butterfly Guides
and the NABA checklist. Since I was standing next to Glassberg when I took the picture and he identified it, that was (and is) good enough for me. If it is not good enough for BugGuide, feel free to frass it.

Good enough for me too
Not that my opinion matters. I asked because I'm working on the MPG list which currently omits this species.

I see U. belli, pronus, and esmeraldus, are very similar and have all strayed into TX. I'm guessing that one of those might be the source of concern. It would be nice to know how they are all separated.


I'm not sure yet if this species will be listed at MPG. I should still resolve the discrepancy with Pelham (2008).

Good enough for me. :)
Good enough for me. :)

nice encounter
nice encounter on your south Texas trip! This cool skipper is being seen more often these days! Hopefully the trend will continue.

Moved from Skippers.

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