Freeman, H.A. 1947. New skipper records for the United States. Entomological News 58(7):184-186.


New Skipper Records for the United States
By H. A. Freeman, Pharr, Texas

     After three years of collecting in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas the writer has come to the conclusion that many of the species of butterflies that occur in the vicinity of Victoria, Tamps, Mexico, will eventually be found to stray up around Pharr, Texas. Many of these species have been found to be native to this area, while others occur here only as stragglers. During 1944-45 the beautiful species, Astraptes fulgerator Walsh, was found to be very common and it was not unusual for the author to go out and collect as many as thirty or forty specimens in one afternoon. During the past year the writer has been unable to get more than two specimens. The past twelve months have been very dry here and this may account partially for the scarcity of that species. During 1946 over a hundred specimens of Lerodea tyrtaeus Ploetz were collected, thus establishing the fact that this species is very definitely native to this part of the state, Some of the other species of skippers that have been recorded from down here have failed to show up since the single specimen of each was caught. Examples of such stragglers are Astraptes hopfferi (Ploetz), Astraptes anaphus (Cramer), Pellicia bromias G. & S., and Celaenorrhinus fritzgaertneri (Bailey). Two of these species are very powerful flyers and could have very easily flown up from Mexico, namely hopfferi (Ploetz) and anaphus (Cramer), whereas, although the other two are swift of wing, it is more likely that they emerged from their chrysalides somewhere in the area as the specimens were very fresh when collected. Possibly, later studies of this part of Texas will result in the finding of more specimens of all four species.

Aguna asander form panthius (H.-S.)

     In the examination of some insects collected by members of the writer's class in entomology at the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High School, a fresh male specimen of this form was found. It was collected by Richard T. Hall and Belva Jean Norman, October 21, 1946, at Pharr, Texas. This is the first record of this form having been collected in the United States.

Pellicia costimacula H.-S.

     The writer caught a fresh male specimen of this species ten miles south of Pharr, Texas, November 28, 1946. This is the first record of this species having been caught in the United States.

Gorgythion begga pyralina (Moschler)

     While collecting with Dr. C. D. Michener, of the American Museum of Natural History, twelve miles south of Pharr, Texas, the writer caught a female specimen of pyralina, on March 31, 1946. This is the first recorded evidence of the genus Gorgythion occurring in the United States.

     To sum up the seventeen new skippers recorded for the United States published by the writer, the following two divisions are made:

     Species that are native to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas:

Binomial as Published: Corresponding English Name:*
Astraptes fulgerator (Walsh)** Two-barred Flasher
Spathilepia clonius (Cram.) Falcate Skipper
Carrhenes canescens (Feld.) Hoary Skipper
Lerodea tyrtaeus Ploetz Violet-patched Skipper
Lerodea edata (Ploetz) Fawn-spotted Skipper
Synapte malitiosa (H.-S.) Malicious Skipper

     Species that are strays or else poorly established in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas:

Binomial as Published: Corresponding English Name:
Urbanus doryssus (Swains.) White-tailed Longtail
Urbanus auginus auginulus (G. & S.) Eight-spotted Longtail
Aguna asander (Hew.) Gold-spotted Aguna
Aguna asander form panthius (H.-S.)
Astraptes anaphus (Cram.) Yellow-tipped Flasher
Astraptes hopfferi (Ploetz) Gilbert's Flasher
Pellicia bromias G. & S. Purplish Black Skipper
Pellicia costimacula H.-S. Glazed Pellicia
Celaenorrhinus fritzgaertneri (Bailey) Fritzgaertner's Flat
Gorgythion begga pyralina (Mschlr.) Variegated Skipper
Perichares phocion dolores (Reak.) Green-backed Ruby-eye

     [*English names not included in Freeman's original publication.]

     **First recorded by Field, W.D. 1940. A new Skipper record for the United States (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Journal Kansas Entomological Society 13(2):57.

Link to other historical RGV butterfly information


12 Nov 2008 Mike / Texas Entomology