|scientific name Euphyes vestris |
common name Dun Skipper
Grassy woodland openings in the aspen parkland.
The only Alberta record is for 20 July (Bird 2001). June 20 to Aug 10 in Saskatchewan (Hooper 1973).
The Dun Skipper is appropriately named; males are a uniform, dark brown colour, with the black dash on the forewing upperside being the only distinguishable mark. Females have several pale spots near the forewing apex. Similar to Amblyscirtes oslari, which has a grey cast to the hindwing underside (sometimes forming a faint banded pattern), and is smaller in size. Habitat and distribution also serve to separate these two species, since vestris is known only from the aspen parkland, whereas oslari is a species of the southern short-grass prairie. Only subspecies metacomet occurs in our area according to Layberry et al. (1998).
Not known for Alberta populations. The eggs of eastern populations are green, and mature larvae are green with fine white lines, with a light-banded, brown and black head (Heitzman 1965).
Only one known occurence in Alberta; more field work needed to establish this species' prevalence.
No data available for Alberta populations. Elsewhere, larval hosptlants include the following sedges: Cyperus esculenta (Heitzman 1965), Carex lacustris, C. spissa, C. gracilima (Layberry et al. 1998) in eastern North America, and Carex heliophila in the 'west' (Layberry et al. 1998). Eggs are laid on nut-grass sedge (Cyperus spp.) in Michigan (Nielsen 1999).
The Dun Skipper is common and widespread in eastern North America, ranging west to central Alberta. There are several disjunct west coast populations ranging from southern California to southwestern B.C. (Opler 1999). This species is currently known from only one Alberta locality, and further colonies should be sought in the aspen parkland in the central and east-central part of the province.
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