Calephelis borealis - (Grote and Robinson, 1866)
Northern Metalmark
Synonym(s): Lephelsica borealis
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Calephelis borealis (Grote and Robinson, 1866) (TSN 777934)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.107560
Element Code: IILEPH2020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Riodinidae Calephelis
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Calephelis borealis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 30Mar2008
Global Status Last Changed: 01Sep1998
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Probably more than 100 colonies, although far fewer are actually known extant and some of these may not be viable if they are not parts of metapopulations which then should be the occurrences. No state ranks this species as more common than S2S3 (New Jersey, Virginia, Kentucky), and is ranked S1 in several including Missouri. Based on what is now documented the rank would be G3, but G3G4 is chosen due to the possibility a substantial number of colonies are undiscovered. This butterfly often occurs in clusters of small local colonies, although movements between the small habitat patches appears to be rare. Despite the small numbers one usually saw there, the classic Springdale New Jersey population was still extant in the 1990s after a century of visits by butterfly collectors which implies it might have been larger than was apparent. With much of the original habitat now converted to lawn or overgrown with saplings, the population there has probably died out (A.E.McBride). There are unpublished population studies in New Jersey (The Nature Conservancy) and Connecticut (David Norris). This butterfly has declined substantially in some parts of the range, such as eastern Pennsylvania. If colonies are mostly as tiny and isolated as they appear to be based on casual observation, then most of them are probably not viable. It is uncertain to what extent populations in West Virginia and Maryland recovered from large-scale Dimilin applications in the late 1980s and 1990s. Colonies on protected lands in New Jersey now appear to be stable, although prone to annual fluctuations, and new ones are occasionally being found (A. McBride pers. comm. to DFS, 2005), and a population was discovered in nearby Orange County, New York in 2007 over 140 years since the species was described from that county. As in New York this butterfly may be overlooked elsewhere. It is also very likely some to many occurrences do not meet the CRANKSPECS but are merely remnant demes of fragmented and non-functional metapopulations. Threats are widespread and increasing but their severity is not clear. Species is absent from most suitable habitats in New Jersey, declining in Connecticut and recently reduced by gypsy moth spraying in parts of Appalachia although some recovery may occur there. Some absences in New Jersey may reflect gypsy moth spraying decades earlier (usually with DDT) or deer eliminating summer nectar sources.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3N4 (01Sep1998)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (S1), Illinois (SNR), Indiana (S2), Kentucky (S2), Maryland (S2), Missouri (S1), New Jersey (S3), New York (S1), Ohio (S1S3), Oklahoma (S2), Pennsylvania (S1S2), Virginia (S3), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Three major population clusters: northwest Connecticut to northwestern New Jersey (extant in Sussex and Warren Counties); Appalachia from central Pennsylvania through West Virginia then northwest into Ohio-Indiana; Ozark region mainly in Missouri, but Opler (1992) shows range extending into Arkansas and Oklahoma. Published information suggests Ohio may be (or have been) a stronghold. Records in Shapiro (1966; repeated in most subsequent literature) for southeastern Pennsylvania serpentine barrens are mostly dubious, although a voucher does exist to support the Lima record. More so than with most such records, several efforts have been made to relocate this species in these barrens with no success.

Area of Occupancy: 3-12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Seldom numerous, usually one finds fewer than 10 at a given place on a given date. In at least some places it must be less scarce than it appears since many of these seemingly tiny occurrences persist for at least decades. Also the Springdale, New Jersey populations have been little impacted by collectors after about 90 years, indicating there must be many more than the 5-10 adults one usually sees per visit.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Unknown

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Gypsy moth spraying seems like the most serious threat in Appalachia. In the northeast, fragmentation through habitat loss is a serious threat. Although TNC has protected some sites these may now be increasingly isolated. Exotics such as Microstegium grass, garlic mustard and Japanese honeysuckle may pose a threat to habitats. Excessive deer numbers prevent reproduction of foodplant since they readily eat the flowers. Deer damage in northern New Jersey forests generally ranges from moderately severe to catastrophic and impacts from exoctic plants are often worse. If threats from exotic plants are real which seems very likely, they may be very widepread and could threaten the species globally. If habitats are really often only a few square meters as they sometimes appear to be (Iftner, et al., 1992; Schweitzer, pers. obs.) this implies they are inherently vulnerable.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Has declined, reportedly greatly, in Maryland and West Virginia from recent gypsy moth spraying. Generally seems stable where habitat is stable and gypsy moth spraying not widespread.

Long-term Trend: Decline of 50-90%

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Small population size and limited dispersal ability may make it vulnerable to local extirpation. Absence from most suitable sites, at least in the Northeast, implies vulnerability to some past disturbances. Past gypsy moth spraying and habitat fragmentation probably were factors. Population sizes may fluctuate from year to year. Demes or isolated colonies have been noted as disappearing without obvious explanation in Connecticut (D. Norris, data from TNC) and Indiana (Shull, 1987). If most demes/colonies are small this is probably a common occurrence.

Environmental Specificity: Narrow to moderate.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Bring it to attention of Forest Service in Appalachia and elsewhere to protect from spraying; protect the remaining known sites in New Jersey and Connecticut.

Distribution
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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Three major population clusters: northwest Connecticut to northwestern New Jersey (extant in Sussex and Warren Counties); Appalachia from central Pennsylvania through West Virginia then northwest into Ohio-Indiana; Ozark region mainly in Missouri, but Opler (1992) shows range extending into Arkansas and Oklahoma. Published information suggests Ohio may be (or have been) a stronghold. Records in Shapiro (1966; repeated in most subsequent literature) for southeastern Pennsylvania serpentine barrens are mostly dubious, although a voucher does exist to support the Lima record. More so than with most such records, several efforts have been made to relocate this species in these barrens with no success.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AR, CT, IL, IN, KY, MD, MO, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Boone (05009), Howard (05061), Newton (05101)
CT Fairfield (09001), Litchfield (09005)
KY Boone (21015)*, Campbell (21037)*, Fleming (21069), Jefferson (21111)*, Leslie (21131)*, Letcher (21133)*, Lewis (21135), Mason (21161)*, Menifee (21165), Nelson (21179), Oldham (21185)*, Owsley (21189)*, Pendleton (21191)*, Powell (21197)*, Trimble (21223)*
MD Allegany (24001), Washington (24043)
MO Barry (29009), Jackson (29095), McDonald (29119)
NJ Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
NY Dutchess (36027)
PA Bedford (42009), Bucks (42017)*, Centre (42027), Chester (42029)*, Delaware (42045)*, Greene (42059)*, Mifflin (42087), Montgomery (42091)*
WV Greenbrier (54025), Lewis (54041), Mineral (54057), Summers (54089)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Housatonic (01100005)+, Saugatuck (01100006)+*
02 Lower Hudson (02030101)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+*, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Bald Eagle (02050204)+, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+
05 West Fork (05020002)+, Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*, Middle New (05050002)+*, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Ohio Brush-Whiteoak (05090201)+, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+, North Fork Kentucky (05100201)+*, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+*, Upper Kentucky (05100204)+, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+*, Salt (05140102)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+
08 Little Missouri (08040103)+
10 Lower Missouri-Crooked (10300101)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+, Buffalo (11010005)+, Elk (11070208)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Northern metalmark butterfly
General Description: 28-32 mm. Very similar to the Swamp Metalmark (C. muticum). A small butterfly that rests with its wings open pressed againt the underside of leaves thus revealing the dark borwn upperside and concealing the bright ornage underside.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Male Swamp Metalmarks have a somewhat more pointed forewing. Northern Metalmark has a dark band across both wings on the upper side and perhaps brighter silver lines. Separation in the field could be unreliable where their ranges overlap if identification is not obvious based on habitat. Do not assume metalmarks in fens or other wetlands are C. muticum if Northern Metalmark habitat is immediately adjacent, since Northern Metalmarks often wander into fens in New Jersey and probably do elsewhere.

Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Generally very sedentery but must at least occasionally move between habitat patches.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: Habitats are openings within forested or wooded areas. Such openings may be natural outcrops,shale or limestone barrens, glades or powerline right of ways. It is suspected but not known that females also move through the forest. Critical factors are lots of the larval foodplant (SENECIO OBOVATUS only so far as known) and nectar (such as orange milkweed, black eyed susan, daisy or fleabane flowers). Habitats are often (in New Jersey at least) just above a wetland (often a fen) into which the butterflies may wander a short distance. Edaphic setting is important to the foodplant and limestone and shale ridges seem to be most typical habitats. Reports of serpentine barrens in Pennsylvania (Shapiro, 1966) appear to be false and would imply another foodplant (such as SENECIO SMALLII).
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Larvae feed on the leaves of Senecio obovatus. There is some speculation but no evidence of any kind that other composites might be used as larval foodplants. In particular no populations are associated with the similar Senecio aureus. Adults take nectar from a variety of flowers.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: One brood in most places but two in late May-June and mid August in southwestern Missouri (Scott, 1986). Adults appear in late June to mid July and are finished by the end of July in the rest of range. The range of 13 June to 31 July in Ohio may include both the earliest and latest known dates for single brooded populations. The corresponding larval stage would be about late July to early June. Hibernation is probably under the basal rosettes of the foodplant, perhaps a bit into the soil and occurs in the fifth or sixth instar (out of 8 or 9) according to Scott (1986).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Gypsy Moth spraying is an obvious issue because 100% of the Metalmark population would be mid or late instar larvae at spray time, although the growth form of the foodplant might provide some protection to larvae. There is no basis to assess the sensitivity of larvae to BTK and this could vary substantially with instar (Peacock et al., 1998). Gypsy moth larvae themselves should have no impact on Northern Metalmark and almost certainly do no eat its foodplant. Out of control deer appear to be eating a lot of the flowers, and thus threatening continued existence of the foodplant in severely impacted areas. They apparently do not eat the basal foliage on which Northern Metalmark larvae feed. Deer, non-native weeds, and lack of metapopulation function appear to be the main threats on "protected" sites. Populations do fluctuate, and unless they normally produce 100 or so adults per year truly isolated colonies probably will eventually fluctuate to extirpation. No stage is protected from fire but the somewhat succulent leaves of the foodplant might sometimes provide sufficient insulation to allow some survival in very light winter burns. The impacts of logging on this species would be worth studying. It is quite possible selective cutting would open up additional habitat in densely forest areas adjacent to colonies and thus help restore metapopulation dynamics.
Gypsy Moth spraying is an obvious issue because 100% of the Metalmark population would be mid or late instar larvae at spray time, although the growth form of the foodplant might provide some protection to larvae. There is no basis to assess the sensitivity of larvae to BTK and this could vary substantially with instar (Peacock et al., 1998). Gypsy moth larvae themselves should have no impact on Northern Metalmark and almost certainly do no eat its foodplant. Out of control deer appear to be eating a lot of the flowers, and thus threatening continued existence of the foodplant in severely impacted areas. They apparently do not eat the basal foliage on which Northern Metalmark larvae feed. Deer, non-native weeds, and lack of metapopulation function appear to be the main threats on "protected" sites. Populations do fluctuate, and unless they normally produce 100 or so adults per year truly isolated colonies probably will eventually fluctuate to extirpation. No stage is protected from fire but the somewhat succulent leaves of the foodplant might sometimes provide sufficient insulation to allow some survival in very light winter burns. The impacts of logging on this species would be worth studying. It is quite possible selective cutting would open up additional habitat in densely forest areas adjacent to colonies and thus help restore metapopulation dynamics.

Biological Research Needs: Need to know how sensitive this is to BTK. Information on metapopulation dynamics from areas where species is still somewhat frequent is needed. Need to know how serious threats from exotic plants are.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Riodinidae: North American Species

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has occurred, where there is potential for persistence or continued recurrence. Minimally a suitable habitat with substantial larval foodplant where the species has been documented by a specimen or for some species a diagnostic photograph verified by an expert can be substituted. In most genera, especially CALEPHELIS, species are very similar to each other. Sight records are therefore strongly discouraged and can be used only when no other congeneric species is even remotely possible--which generally means only east of the Appalachians where the two species are widely allopatric.
Mapping Guidance: In very many cases the boundaries of the habitat or known distribution of the larval foodplant in the area can be used to delineate EO boundaries. Adults of this family seem to need nectar and nectar areas need to be included in the EO. Usually these will be similar to the breeding habitat but they might be separate but contiguous.
Separation Barriers: No good information known.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: These butterflies are usually very local and very seldom seen outside of their normal habitat (except for C. BOREALIS often wandering into adjacent fens). Movement between such patches seems to be rare, but can exceed a kilometer through at least marginal habitat (e.g. D. Norris in Connecticut for C. BOREALIS). Therefore use of the minimum distance seems very reasonable for unsuitable habitat and a few kilometers would be justified in suitable or marginal habitat.

In this context marginal habitats where the foodplant is present are not considered unsuitable. In general it seems that where multiple habitat patches occur in a canyon, along a river corridor, on a ridge, powerline etc. the patches tend to be occupied. While these butterflies are very localized there seems to be no evidence suggesting that a population would not disperse through available contiguous habitat like most other Lepidoptera do. Furthermore individual "colonies" often seem to be tiny, often less than 10 seen in less than .2 hectare for some species such as C. BOREALIS, MUTICUM and VIRGINIENSIS. Such low numbers could not persist long term implying movement and functioning metapopulations. The absence of C. BOREALIS in most habitat patches now in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey also suggests failure to persist after metaopulation disruption. Thus if suitable habitat is contiguous or nearly so for several kilometers it is likely to be occupied and 5 kilometers seems like a reasonable, if arbitrary separation distance. If two collection sites are that close together it is very strongly recommended that intervening suitable habitats be checked which is likely to lead to the conclusion that there is only one occurrence--but probably a high quality one.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Since these butterflies are so localized it seems prudent not to infer presence over large areas without actually checking. However if habitat is contiguous or nearly so it does seem unlikely that most species would fail to occupy it especially in situations like ridges, river or stream corridors, canyon bottoms etc. So .5 kilometer is an arbitrary compromise. Occupancy is not inferred beyond actual potential habitat and if this is smaller than about 200 hectares assume full occupancy. If larger, more observation is needed.
Date: 31Aug2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: A ridge with numerous openings (at least five) meeting the CSPECs, natural or otherwise, sufficient that one could see 100 or more adults (or 50 of one sex) in a walk through most years with no substantial barriers between these openings. Ideal connections between demes seem to be powerlines or wetland (especially fen) edges.
Good Viability: Almost any apparent metapopulation of two to four demes that would meet the CSPECs where one can often see at least 50 adults (or 25 of one sex) in a visit probably deserves a BRANK. .Also any non-successional opening of at least 10 acres where one can often see 50 or more adults or 25 of one sex per visit.
Fair Viability: Any site not meeting the A or B SPECS that seems likely to persist. Includes typical where one seldom sees 20 or more adults per visit, and ofen less than 10. Consider whether EO is likely to survive a really bad year. Include any site where the species has been collected or observed repeatedly for several decades that does not meet B specs.
Poor Viability: Sites where persistence seems unlikely and any site where species apparently occurs irregularly, being genuinely absent some years. But in such cases consider possibility of a larger metapopulation. Consider D if the entire habitat is clearly less than an acre.
Justification: This species is almost never observed or collected in large numbers, but some small colonies have ben observed over 50-100 years which implies they are larger than they appear. These criteria are an attempt to provide some guidance for identifying exceptionally good (B) occurrences. The A criteria are more speculative but if such places do exist they probably approach best all time status.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Feb2007
Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 30Mar2008
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Management Information Edition Date: 12Mar2007
Management Information Edition Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 12Mar2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): SCHWEITZER, D. F.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Allen, T.J. 1997. The butterflies of West Virginia and their caterpillars. Pittsburgh, PA. University of Pittsburgh Press.

  • Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden. Oxford University Press, New York. 232 pp.

  • Belth, Jeffrey E. 2013. Butterflies of Indiana A Field Guide. Indiana University Press.Bloomington, IN.

  • Brock, J. P., and K. Kaufman. 2003. Butterflies of North America. Kaufman Focus Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.

  • COVELL, C.V., JR. 1999. THE BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS (LEPIDOPTERA) OF KENTUCKY: AN ANNOTATED CHECKLIST. KENTUCKY STATE NATURE PRESERVES COMMISSION SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SERIES 6:1-220.

  • Forbes, William T. M. 1960. Lepidoptera of New York and neighboring states part IV. Cornell University Experiment Station Memoir 371.

  • Heitzman, J. Richard and Joan E. Heitzman, 1987. Butterflies and Moths of Missouri. Missouri Dept. of Conservation, Jefferson City, MO. 385pp.

  • Iftner, D. C., J. A. Shuey, and J. V. Calhoun. 1992. Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio. Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin. New Series, Vol. 9, no. 1, xii + 212 pp., 40 color plates.

  • Iftner, David C. and Wright, David M., 1996. Atlas of New Jersey Butterflies. Privately published by authors.

  • Natural Resources Commission. 2014. Roster of Indiana Animals, Insects, and Plants That Are Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Rare. Information Bulletin #2 (Sixth Amendment. 20pp.

  • O'Donnell, J.E., L.F. Gall., and D.L. Wagner, eds. 2007. The Connecticut Butterfly Atlas. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Department of Environmental Protection, Hartford. 376 pp.

  • Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.

  • Opler, P.A. and G.O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies East of the Great Plains, an illustrated natural history. Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore. 294pp.

  • Opler, P.A. and V. Malikul. 1992. Eastern Butterflies (Peterson Field Guide). Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 396 pp. + color plates.

  • Peacock, J. W., D. F. Schweitzer, J. L. Carter, and N. R. Dubois. 1998. Laboratory Assessment of the effects of Bacillus thuringiensis on native Lepidoptera. Environmental Entomology 27(2):450-457.

  • Pelham, J. P. 2008. A catalogue of the butterflies of the United States and Canada with a complete bibliography of the descriptive and systematic literature. The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera. Volume 40. 658 pp. Revised 14 February, 2012.

  • Schweitzer, D. F., M. C. Minno, and D. L. Wagner. 2011. Rare, declining, and poorly known butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) of forests and woodlands in the eastern United States. USFS Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, Technology Transfer Bulletin FHTET-2011-01. 517 pp.

  • Schweitzer, Dale F. 2004. Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar): impacts and options for biodiversity-oriented land managers. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. NatureServe Explorer. Online. Available: http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/

  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford CA. 583 pp.

  • Shapiro, A.M. 1974. Butterflies and Skippers of New York State. Search 4:1-60.

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  • Wagner, D.L. 2005. Caterpillars of eastern North America. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey. 512 pp.

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