Butterflies and Moths of Southern Vancouver Island--Jeremy B. Tatum



Pyrgus ruralis


Although this butterfly is often called the Two-banded Checkered Skipper, I am reluctant to give it an English name. Ideally, butterflies of the genus Pyrgus would be called grizzled skippers and butterflies of the genus Carterocephalus would be chequered skippers, and these adjectives well describe the appearance of these two genera. Unfortunately the two adjectives seem to be haphazardly distributed between the genera in different parts of the world, and, under these circumstances it is probably best to stick to the scientific name.

I have not yet succeeded in getting a good photograph of the adult, but I reproduce images of the immature stages because they seem to be not at all well known. The egg of the individual shown, barrel-shaped with 15 ribs, was laid on the underside of a wild strawberry leaf Fragaria vesca. The young caterpillar hid under a silken roof on the upper surface of a leaf, and was hard to see even with a lens. The caterpillar shares the habit with other skipper larvae of resting with its head held to one side. Unlike many other skippers, the winter is spent in the pupal stage.

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