Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus centaureae


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

External Links





 
General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Large for western checkered (Pyrgus) skippers. Forewing 1.4-1.5 cm. Fringes checkered white with black tufts at vein endings. Uppersurface dark gray-brown with squarish white checks, forewing with small bar in discal cell and missing white spot in basal (inner) spotband, hindwing with blurred white spots; undersurface of hindwing gray-brown to black checkered with whitish spots, veins whitish.

Phenology
One flight, mid-April to mid-May in the eastern US, late June to August in western US, mid-June through July in the Arctic (Scott 1986). June to early August (Glassberg 2001). Mid-May to August in Canada (Layberry et al. 1998). Late June to early August in Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981). Early June to late August in Washington (Pyle 2002), late June to early August in British Columbia (Threatful 1988; Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by a combination of habitat, checkered fringes, uppersurface of forewing missing a white spot in basal (inner) spotband, hindwing with blurred white spots; undersurface of hindwing gray-brown to black checkered with whitish spots, veins whitish.

Species Range
Montana Range

Click the legend blocks above to view individual ranges.
 


Range Comments
Holarctic. In North America, Alaska south to northern Washington, in the Rocky Mountains to northern New Mexico, east across boreal Canada and northern Great Lakes region to Labrador and arctic Quebec, south in the east to the central Appalachian Mountains (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002); 2865 m to at least 3962 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981), 2042 m to 2316 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported from at least 13 counties in the mountainous western 1/3 of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database), to at least 3078 m. Rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).

Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 1

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Above treeline in dry alpine meadows and talus slopes, moist alpine and subalpine heath, subarctic moist willow thickets, clearings in black spruce bogs, forest clearings, montane aspen (Nabokov 1953; Oosting and Parshall 1978; Scott 1986; Threatful 1988; Layberry et al. 1998; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants in the wild and captivity are members of the Rosaceae, including Fragaria, Potentillia, and Rubus, and members of the Ericaceae, specifically Vaccinium caespitosum (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Layberry et al. 1998; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Arnica, Barbarea, Erigeron, Fragaria, Hymenoxys, Kalmia, Mertensia, Polygonum, Salix, Sedum, Senecio, Symphyotrichum, Taraxacum, Trollius, Viola) and mud (James and Nunnallee 2011; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on undersurface of host plant leaves (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). A single captive female laid 57 eggs during nine days. Eggs hatch in about 9 days (depending on temperature), develop from L1 instar to L5 instar 40-48 days after after egg-hatch, L5 instar to pupae in about 27-28 days (depending on temperature). Larvae feed on host plant leaves, L1 instar constructs lightly-silked folded leaf nest, leave nest to feed at night, construct new nest when too large to occupy current nest, may be cannibalistic in captivity, slow L5 instar development indicates possible overwinting (diapause) as L4 or L5 instar, pupates in final leaf nest on host plant (James and Nunnallee 2011). Males patrol throughout the day, sometimes perch, in low spots, swales, valley bottoms, next to bogs, seeking females (Scott 1975b, 1986).

References
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
Grizzled Skipper — Pyrgus centaureae.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from