Pyrgus wyandot - W. H. Edwards, 1863
Appalachian Grizzled Skipper
Other English Common Names: Appalachian grizzled skipper
Synonym(s): Pyrgus centaureae wyandot
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pyrgus centaureae wyandot (W. H. Edwards, 1863) (TSN 707412)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.109139
Element Code: IILEP38090
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Hesperiidae Pyrgus
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: Pyrgus wyandot
Taxonomic Comments: Most authors have treated this as a subspecies of the circumboreal P. centaureae despite substantial differences. Genitalia differences noted by several authors (Shapiro, 1974; Klots, 1951; Forbes, 1960), adult maculation differences, as well as larval color (Allen, 1997), greatly different habitat, are cited by some recent works to justify treatment as a separate species as proposed by Shapiro (1974) and indirectly by Forbes (1960). Assuming the genitalia differences given explicitly by Forbes are reliable, these combined with both adult maculation and larval color differences would be more than enough to justify full species status by the normal practices in insect taxonomy. Genitalia differences alone are routinely used to justify species versus subspecies status. Forbes (1960), a notably conservative taxonomist with a very good record of getting species concepts right, left wyandot as a subspecies of centaureae but considered freija sufficiently different from it in genitalia as to warrant species status. It is difficult to conclude from Forbes' discussion of the genitalia and other differences that wyandot and freija are conspecific and apparently there is no disagreement now that freija and centaureae are conspecific. There has been no other relevant revisionary study since Lindsey, Bell and Williams (1930) who listed it under centaureae without comment and Forbes (1960) who compared wyandot only to freija and neither to European centaureae. Therefore, inertia favors subspecies status in the absence of indisputable evidence to the contrary-strong contrary evidence notwithstanding. Opler and Warren (2002) "tentatively" included wyandot within P. centaureae.

For now Pyrgus wyandot is retained in this database (as in previous versions) as a species distinct from Pyrgus centaureae freija largely on the basis of the genitalia differences between wyandot and freija, which as far as known hold reliably as reported and are supported by the other lesser differences. If the genitalia differences do not hold or mDNA proved very similar to other taxa, then the case for full species would be weakened considerably. Until a more careful published analysis is published, Forbes' account is accepted as the most recent taxonomic treatment and the universal treatment by subsequent authors of freija and centaureae as conspecific is also accepted. Also one would not expect a boreal-low arctic/alpine species in some of the hottest microhabitats in eastern North America--a fair description of a typical P. wyandot site in much of its former range. This is definitely a low elevation (rarely if ever >900 meters) barrens, not subalpine, taxon. The foodplant genera used in nature by this complex (Potentilla, Fragaria, Rubus) do not justify any particular taxonomic status. These genera are closely related and the exact species involved are all ground cover plants of similar growth form. The Q is mainly in deference to the tentative placement as a subspecies by the most recent published treatment (Opler and Warren, 2002). D. F. Schweitzer.

Whether as a full species or subspecies the circumscription of this taxon is also problematic until the Michigan entity is clarified. Michigan populations differ from typical wyandot in foodplant and habitat as well as adult appearance and larval color (pinkish brown, not green, Allen, 1997). It is very likely that Michigan populations are not the taxon wyandot. All other United States records for Pyrgus centaureae from Ohio south and east refer to P. wyandot.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1G2Q
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Nov2010
Global Status Last Changed: 13Jan2003
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: Parshall (2002) and other recent efforts have found this species extant in only about 13% of counties with records in the 1990s. There are only about six or slightly more known extant occurrences. It thus seems likely there really are under 20, possibly only one or two, extant viable occurrences, but some recoverable occurrences. This is probably among the three most imperiled butterfly or skipper species in North America and is imminently threatened in some areas, extirpated in most others, and it does not appear secure anywhere. It is lready extirpated from a major portion of range (New York-New Jersey and apparently most of its more eastern range within Pennsylvania). Very few occurrences documented in or before the mid 1980s remained extant after half a decade of gypsy moth spray programs. Many to most metapopulations in core of range are apparently extinct. The status of this species could change very quickly in either direction depending on degree of gypsy moth spraying in the near future. There might still be 10-20 viable or recoverable occurrences, but far fewer are now known, and recent decline and/or threats are severe in most of range. If Michigan populations prove to be distinctive, then both taxa should probably get the same rank as imperiled. Threats are similar, and the Michigan entity is now possibly extirpated from ten of the twelve counties where it occurred (Parshall, 2002).
Nation: United States
National Status: N1N2 (13Jan2003)

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 District of Columbia (SH), Maryland (S1), Michigan (S1S2), New Jersey (S1), New York (SH), North Carolina (S1), Ohio (S1), Pennsylvania (S1), Virginia (S1), West Virginia (S1)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-200,000 square km (about 2000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: The orginal range was much larger and more discontinuous than the current range which is a small narrow area of shale ridges from south-central Pennsylvania into Virginia and isolated occurrences in Ohio.The maps in popular guides tend to overstate the original range which actually was in several disjunct parts. The core of the range was the shale region from about Huntington County, Pennsylvania southwest though northeastern West Virginia and adjacent Virginia including a bit of far western Maryland. These populations reached east, not exclusively on shale, to Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and Washington, D.C. in the 1880s (specimen from Rock Creek Park in Academy of Natural Sciences). There are no gaps more than two counties wide from Dauphin County and D.C. to extreme southwest Virginia and (LeGran and howard, 2008) adjacent North Carolina. There were also a few seemingly isolated records in the early 1970s for central New York which could have been an extension of the main range. There were disjunct well known populations in the trap rock glades region and surrounding areas in northern New Jersey (specimens from seven counties, Iftner and Wright, 1996) and immediately adjacent New York into the late 1950s. There are or were several apparently disjunct populations in southern Ohio. Consult Shapiro (1974) for New York, Iftner et al. (1993) for Ohio, and Allen (1997) for West Virginia. A separate and distinctive group of populations in northern Michigan has traditionally also been included with this taxon but see taxonomy field. Minnesota populations should be referred to the taxon freija. The pre-1863 Long Island record was probably in error for a nearby part of New Jersey or New York since no likely edaphic formations occur on Long Island. The Cook Co., Illinois dot shown by Parshall (2002) is very dubious and has generally been ignored. This also seems to date from around 1900 or earlier and collectors were often sloppy with data in those days. Information on the three reports along Lake Erie in New York and Ohio (Parshall, 2002, Shapiro, 1974) is unavailable. Aside from omitting the seven New Jersey counties, the map in Parshall (2002) seems to be the most complete compilation. The Kentucky record was probably false.

Area of Occupancy: 3-125 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: One large occurrence remains in Virginia, but others probably more like 100 hectare.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Parshall (2002) reports it to be extant in six counties total in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio. Probably each represents a single occurrence but this is not certain for Virginia. He also reports the Michigan entity as extant in two adjacent counties. It is very probable but not certain that <20 occurrences are extant.

Population Size: 250 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Seldom common. Ten per hour would be exceptional. With fewer than ten known extant populations, it is quite possible there are fewer than 1000 adults rangewide most years now. However adults do seem to move around and effective population sizes may be larger than they appear.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: None to some (0-40)

Overall Threat Impact: Very high - high
Overall Threat Impact Comments: That this species was reduced largely by gypsy moth spraying is now widely accepted and obviously correct, although there probably were other factors. Gypsy moth spraying eliminated most known Appalachian populations from about 1985-1992, and all known ones in New Jersey about 1958-1960. A few more applications of Dimilin or BTK in key areas could finish off this species. There also appears to be a change in the abundance of host plants on some West Virginia historic sites with Potentilla canadensis being represented by far fewer plants. This may reflect droughts. Numbers are now so low that even collectors may constitute a threat to remaining colonies, although collecting was not a factor in the crash. Likewise minor fluctuations could cause colonies to "wink out". Low numbers and fragmentation greatly increase this threat, and this species probably cannot survive unless some metapopulation function is restored. Broadcast herbiciding of powerlines would also be a very potent threat considering that powerline corridors were major habitats in the 1980s and will almost certainly be important if this species ever recovers. They appear to be better dispersal corridors than any kind of natural feature. The most likely cause of the loss of the central New York populations was succession (Robert Dirig, email to Schweitzer 15 February 2005; also limited observations by Schweitzer in the 1980s). Succession may also be a threat in Virginia. Forestry, fire suppression, and gypsy moth spraying are threats to the unique Michigan populations of this complex.

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: At present it is possible this species is recovering some from losses around 15-20 years ago. This species is so reduced now that any trend would be hard to notice and a major decline would end in extirpation in most or all parts of range.

Long-term Trend: Decline of >90%
Long-term Trend Comments: As mapped by Parshall (2002) and with the seven New Jersey counties added and allowing for dubious records, the historic range of typical wyandot included about 45 counties some with multiple populations. The Michigan entity is reported from 14 counties. The current ranges include six and two counties. As far as known the species was basically stable until about 1958-1960 and especially 1987-1992. Catastrophic decline about 1987 to 1995 due to Dimilin and probably Btk spraying directed at gypsy moth, in combination with drought. A similar decline to extirpation occurred in New Jersey about 1958-1960 in conjunction with large scale DDT spraying of habitats also for gypsy moth which peaked about 1957. Most known populations in Maryland and West Virginia were eradicated soon after 1986, including apparently all of those referred to by Schweitzer (1989). It is unclear what happened to the central New York populations and these may not have ever really been established. Apparently the few specimens were all collected in a period of less than five years in a generally well studied area. It is nearly certain these populations are extirpated. As far as known the sites were all unnaturally disturbed areas succeeding back to forest. This species was common in Virginia in the early 20th century, and now is among the most imperiled skippers in the US.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Few if any species could be more vulnerable to gypsy moth spraying than this one. Larvae occur in openings on oak dominatedi ridges which are probably the most likely areas to be sprayed. They not protected by canopy. Larval stage lasts most of the summer assuring they will eventually encounter persistent poisons like Diflubenzuron. Populations appear to be small or sparse such that recovery is far less likely than withmore abundant species.

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: One of the most specialized skippers east of the prairies. While the foodplant is very common, even as a lawn weed, on most substrates, this skipper was restricted or nearly so to a narrow range of very hot rock outcrop habitats. By far most populations were on shale barrens or sparse woodlands (Pennsylvania to Virginia) or traprock glades (new Jersey immediately adjacent New York) or on right of ways, very open woods, or disturbances on south or west facing slopes of these substrates. Furthermore populations were always very close to woods even if the foodplants extended far out in the open. See Schweitzer (1989) report for details. Habitats were consistent enough though in 1985-1986 that presence could often be predicted from looking at a site from a kilometer or two away!

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Look for it in appropriate habitats in early spring. Eastern Counties in West Virginia need surveys in a few years to look for any recolonizations.

Protection Needs: Protect all EOs in New York if found again. Appalachian and long term populations in Pennsylvania need protection from spraying. Examine possible causes of host plant decline and ways to enhance growth of host plant. Michigan needs large barrens tract with several populations. Encourage listing under the US Endangered Species Act or pre-listing recovery by USFWS.

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-200,000 square km (about 2000-80,000 square miles)) The orginal range was much larger and more discontinuous than the current range which is a small narrow area of shale ridges from south-central Pennsylvania into Virginia and isolated occurrences in Ohio.The maps in popular guides tend to overstate the original range which actually was in several disjunct parts. The core of the range was the shale region from about Huntington County, Pennsylvania southwest though northeastern West Virginia and adjacent Virginia including a bit of far western Maryland. These populations reached east, not exclusively on shale, to Lancaster and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and Washington, D.C. in the 1880s (specimen from Rock Creek Park in Academy of Natural Sciences). There are no gaps more than two counties wide from Dauphin County and D.C. to extreme southwest Virginia and (LeGran and howard, 2008) adjacent North Carolina. There were also a few seemingly isolated records in the early 1970s for central New York which could have been an extension of the main range. There were disjunct well known populations in the trap rock glades region and surrounding areas in northern New Jersey (specimens from seven counties, Iftner and Wright, 1996) and immediately adjacent New York into the late 1950s. There are or were several apparently disjunct populations in southern Ohio. Consult Shapiro (1974) for New York, Iftner et al. (1993) for Ohio, and Allen (1997) for West Virginia. A separate and distinctive group of populations in northern Michigan has traditionally also been included with this taxon but see taxonomy field. Minnesota populations should be referred to the taxon freija. The pre-1863 Long Island record was probably in error for a nearby part of New Jersey or New York since no likely edaphic formations occur on Long Island. The Cook Co., Illinois dot shown by Parshall (2002) is very dubious and has generally been ignored. This also seems to date from around 1900 or earlier and collectors were often sloppy with data in those days. Information on the three reports along Lake Erie in New York and Ohio (Parshall, 2002, Shapiro, 1974) is unavailable. Aside from omitting the seven New Jersey counties, the map in Parshall (2002) seems to be the most complete compilation. The Kentucky record was probably false.

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 DC, MD, MI, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
MD Allegany (24001)
MI Antrim (26009)*, Cheboygan (26031)*, Crawford (26039)*, Emmet (26047)*, Iosco (26069), Montcalm (26117)*, Montmorency (26119)*, Newaygo (26123)*, Oscoda (26135)*, Otsego (26137)*, Presque Isle (26141), Wexford (26165)*
NC Alleghany (37005), Ashe (37009), Polk (37149)*
NJ Bergen (34003)*, Cumberland (34011)*, Essex (34013)*, Gloucester (34015)*, Morris (34027)*, Passaic (34031)*, Salem (34033)*, Sussex (34037)*, Warren (34041)*
NY Tioga (36107)*, Tompkins (36109)*
PA Bedford (42009), Huntingdon (42061)
VA Alleghany (51005), Frederick (51069), Montgomery (51121)*, Roanoke (51161)*, Rockbridge (51163), Salem (City) (51775)*
WV Greenbrier (54025), Hampshire (54027), Hardy (54031)*, Kanawha (54039)*, Mineral (54057)*, Pendleton (54071)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Rondout (02020007)+*, Lower Hudson (02030101)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+*, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+*, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+*, Owego-Wappasening (02050103)+*, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+, Upper James (02080201)+, Maury (02080202)+
03 Upper Roanoke (03010101)+*, Upper Broad (03050105)+*
04 Muskegon (04060102)+*, Manistee (04060103)+*, Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105)+*, Lone Lake-Ocqueoc (04070003)+, Black (04070005)+*, Thunder Bay (04070006)+*, Au Sable (04070007)+, Seneca (04140201)+*
05 Upper New (05050001)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Upper Kanawha (05050006)+*, Elk (05050007)+*, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A dark small skipper with many white checkerspots.
General Description: The eastern US representative of the cicum-boreal Pyrgus centaureae complex. A dark small white spotted skipper that flies low in woodland openings, edges and right of ways on dry shale, formerly trap rock, slopes in early spring. A similar skipper in openings of pine-oak barrens in northern Michigan is considered by some to be this species (or subspecies)
Diagnostic Characteristics: The flight period is close to diagnostic by itself, but to be certain field marks should be observed. Either a specimen or a photograph should be easily separable from Pyrgus communis by the more olive shades beneath, the duskier hairier appearance and smaller and fewer white spots above, for example the lack of the two rows of well-defined small marginal spots on the forewing. Also the white spots on the hindwing above occupy much less of the total surface.and the second spot from rear on postmedian band of forewing is strongly offset inward. Opler and Krizek (1984) and Glassberg (1993), provide especially good photographs of upperside. See these or Brock and Kaufman (2003) or virtually any other butterfly book that illustrates P. communis and either P. wyandot or the similar P. centaureae. Flying individuals probably should not be reported as valid records although it is unlikely the variable P. communis would be flying as early as P. wyandot. Either follow it until it lands or net it if a definite identification of that individual is needed.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Adults apparently are very dispersive within ridge systems, especially along powerlines. Allen and Schweitzer marked several in West Virginia, none were present next day, new ones were.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cliff, Forest - Hardwood, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: Habitat is openings within jack pine or pine-oak barrens in Michigan. For typical P. wyandot habitat was trap rock glades and associated woodland in northeastern New Jersey and adjacent New York. Typical Appalachian habitat is/was shale barrens, pastures and powerlines on south to west facing shale slopes, always with much bare rock or soil. Key features were plentiful Potentilla canadensis, the larval foodplant, and nectar flowers, and also some source of moisture such as a streamlet at the base of the hill, or even deep wheel ruts. See Schweitzer (1989) for more detailed discussion of habitat. Habitat could formerly easily be spotted from a car using the features in Schweitzer (1989). Adults seldom occur more than about 30 meters from woods and sometimes occur in the woods. Shale barrens and other habitats tend to be surrounded by scrubby oak woodland or forest with some to a lot of Virginia pine. Oaks in such xeric habitats leaf out late, leaving no canopy for much of the flight season making these woods less of a barrier to adults than one would expect. When the trees are bare adults can be found in the forest occasionally. The exact nature of the habitats near Ithaca New York is less certain. It appears they were successional stages in reforestation (Robert Dirig email to D. Schweitzer, 15 February 2005; limited earlier observations by Schweitzer. That brings up the question of where the original colonizers for this and other rare species came from One can see from the geological and butterfly distribution maps of Shapiro (1974) that the area has much shale and also had Glaucopsyche lygadamus lygdamus (=nittanyensis), another characteristic Appalachian shale inhabitant. Some Virgina habitats also appear to be successional and are not classic shale barrens (S. Roble). Colonies occasionally occurred as high as about 760 meters in West Virginia and the current North Carolina populations are slightly over 900 meter, but most colonies are at lower elevations and some older ones were below 100 meters.
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Larvae feed on wild strawberry in Michigan, apparently exclusively on POTENTILLA CANADENSIS elsewhere. A variety of spring wild flowers are used for nectar, including pussy toes (ANTENNARIA), birds foot violet, and PHLOX SUBULATA.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Adults present April (rarely late March) to early May in Appalachia: formerly late April-mid May in New Jersey and New York; May in Michigan. Larval period is approx. 100 days (in West Virginia, T. Allen) beginning at end of adult season. Larvae remain on foodplant all hours. Adult activity period is quite restricted on cool days.
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Immediate management issues are maintaining the few habitats that still support this species and protecting them from gypsy moth spraying. Any past history of gypsy moth spraying was a reliable indication that this species would be absent even before its general collapse (Schweitzer, 1989). Gypsy Moth spraying is not compatible with continued existence of populations of this species. It is not known if BTK poses less risk than chemical biocides, but cirumstantial evidence suggests little difference with this species.

In some cases foodplant cinquefoils may need augmentation after droughts. A longer term goal is restoring metapopulation dynamics that almost certainly existed until the late 1980s by restoring population clusters that were sprayed out. Other possible issues could be controlling herbivory by deer affecting either the foodplant or nectar flowers, and eliminating exotic weeds. On right of ways broadcast herbiciding needs to be eliminated and the area maintained by either dormant season mowing or by careful selective ground applications of herbicides aimed at sprouts or shrubs. A few sites were relatively lightly grazed pastures. If any populations still exist in such situations presumably the status quo should be the goal. At a few sites in Virginia and perhaps elsewhere where the primary habitat is not a powerline, pasture, or shale barren, forest succession may be an issue. Details of how such habitat would be managed should be worked out by persons familiar with the sites. The possibility of using logging as a management tool should be considered. These recommendations are for typical P. wyandot.

For the Michigan entity, gypsy moth spraying is also a critical issue. Deer herbivory may be more of an issue with this entity since wild strawberry grows taller and may be more conspicuous to deer than prostrate cinquefoils. Otherwise management may be rather different since habitats are openings in or sparse pine, oak, or mixed barrens or woodlands which probably were originally maintained by occasional fires. However there is less occupied habitat now and as with most butterflies or skippers substantial survival within a burned area would be unlikely unless there were a lot of skips. Probably some level of prescribed burning is needed. If the population is using right of ways see recommendations above and consider whether it could be expanded by opening up adjacent woodlands.

Restoration Potential: Restoration potential is good, at least in its more suitable habitats. A restoration or recovery effort would include protecting these sites from the use of pesticides. Control of gypsy moths should be done using host specific biological methods. Habitat management may be required to insure a suitable amount of nectar and host plants within the community.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: This species requires shale barren habitat in the Appalachians. Shale barrens are semi-open shale slopes with sparse herbaceous vegetation and low density overstory of mainly red, scarlet, and black oak, scrub oak, and pine. Open areas created by shale slopes, log roads or power and gas rights-of-way must be in close proximity to more densely wooded areas. These dry, shale slopes should favor the natural growth of Canada cinquefoil as well as a variety of spring plants such as spring beauty (CLAYTONIA spp.), phlox (PHYOX SUBULATA) and birdsfoot violet (VIOLA PEDATA).

Size of an element site is uncertain. The species is quite mobile and may require 50 acres (20 ha) or more for population maintenance, with suitable breeding habitat scattered throughout.

Management Requirements: A natural area which meets the habitat requirements should maintain itself as a shale barren. Management of these natural areas would involve their protection against destruction from outside elements and from spraying. Grassy roads and right-of-ways can be managed by maintaining a suitable plant community structure with Canada cinquefoil as primary component. In Michigan, habitat for this species requires periodic burning in patches to maintain the open vegetation structure.
Monitoring Requirements: Across the range, annually monitoring for adults by visual inspection should be done during the flight period.
Management Research Needs: A more intensive effort is needed to locate populations, and to provide immediate protection from gypsy moth spraying or other disturbances. Research efforts can then be concentrated on determining the size of suitable habitat required to maintain a viable population. An investigation of whether or not the numbers of host plants can be manipulated to benefit the skipper is also needed. The effects of precipitation and soil acidity on the growth of POTENTILLA CANADENSIS should be examined. The amount of POTENTILLA on historic sites in West Virginia has been declining over the last few years and may be partly responsible for declining populations.
Biological Research Needs: Need to determine if Michigan-Minnesota populations are the same taxon and also how these populations are effected by fire. Need to determine sensitivity to Btk, although this is probably very high. Feasibility of reintorductions especailly in West Virginia needs investigation.
Additional topics: A review of previous work done by Forbes (1974) and a review of museum specimens is needed to complete the taxonomic classification of the species. Electrophoretic studies may also help determine the taxonomic status of the Michigan and Appalachian populations.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where a population or metapopulation occurs, or (usually as of 2000) recently (usually 1980s) occurred where there is potential for persistence or (usually) recolonization or successsful reintroduction. Any location where two or more individuals are seen with the foodplant is presumed to be a breeding habitat and is an occurrence. Observations of single individuals would usually be treated as an occurrence if the larval foodplant, Potentilla Canadensis, is plentiful and the habitat otherwise generally appropriate. In almost all cases, habitats less than two kilometers apart can be considered one occurrence. Where applicable the metapopulation is the valid occurrence and proximate colonies should always be combined as appropriate. Good metapopulations will be long term to relictual, but individual colonies may not be permanent especially on the drier sites during drought years. Ranks of higher than C should applied only to metapopulations.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: There are no good movement data but prior to large scale gypsy moth spraying few suitable habitat patches within occupied edaphic features were regularly vacant and this was still true of unsprayed ones in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia in the mid 1980s (see Schweitzer, 1989 report on Candidate Insecta to USFWS) even though by the 1990s nearly all suitable habitats were vacant. Numbers at individual colonies at least numbers observed on a given day generally were too low to possibly maintain a viable occurrence and a very preliminary marking effort yielded no recaptures. Thus at least within the dry shale (formerly also traprock) ridges the adults moved around as they could occasionally be seen doing along powerlines and dirt roads. Before the canopy closes in it is very likely adults also move through the forest understory and tenerals are even found there indicating some oviposition occurs. So habitat may not be quite as discrete as it usually appears and the foodplant is rarely confined only to the main breeding sites. While there are no precise data, it is obvious this species used to move fairly widely through suitable or marginal habitats and was a good colonizer within its small range. The five kilometer distance should always be used with right of ways through generally wooded edaphically suitable terrain and through dry scrubby oak woods where the foodplant is present even if sparsely, and generally should be used along ridgelines with open dry oak or oak-pine woodland or forests with openings. The adults do seem to be reluctant to move far from woods or to leave the edaphic areas involved. These distances while arbitrary attempt to recognize these facets of the ecology.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Use this distance only with suitable edaphic conditions and suitable habitat such as where the foodplant and habitat are frequent on a powerline (in which case it is linear and NOT a radius) or shale barrens and not with marginal forest habitats. It may be used for slightly discontinuous habitat patches. While some of this inferred habitat may now be vacant it almost certainly will not be if the species is allowed to recover in the area--thus it qualifies as recently occupied habitat likely to be re-occupied.
Date: 10Dec2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.; Chazal, Ann C.
Notes: These Specs are explicitly for Appalachian populations including Ohio and formerly New York and New Jersey. They are not intended to apply to Michigan populations which are probably not this taxon. Specs for those populations may be similar though even though the habitat and foodplant differ.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Moot. None of the recently extant occurrences approach any reasonably likely best all time status. Conceptually such would have been hundreds of adults per year spread over a substantial area with at least a few hundred acres of good habitat and several large demes.
Good Viability: Probably none exist at present. A population that probably contains 200 or more adults most years and consists of at least two demes, or if in a right of way and thus is not really divisable into demes occupies at least 2 kilometers of powerline. A site where one regularly sees 25 or more per one hour visit might well be such an occurrence. An entire ridge with multiple (at leastfive) demes (usually on shale barrens) each of which meets the C-rank criteria below and at least three demes of which are less than 1 kilometer from at least one other deme might be pooled and ranked as a B occurence.


Fair Viability: A potentially viable, but usually small, occurrence where fewer than ten adults are normally seen, but where the species is known or can be reasonably inferred to be persistent. Apparently very few EOs should be ranked higher than C. If recolonization is known to be possible, for example individuals are occasionally seen between this and another habitat, C or CD may be applied to an occurrence that occasionally fails to produce adults for example during droughts. In general if a few adults have been observed consistently in more than one year, C is an appropriate rank. Populations on successional habitats should be ranked no higher than C unless exceptionally for unusually large ones in contexts where the necessary disturbances (perhaps fire or logging) can be expected to continue sufficiently to maintain the occurrence for the foreseeable future.
Poor Viability: Nonviable occurrences, including all sites where the population is known to have died out in past drought years and where given current context recolonization would be unlikely. Most sites where one frequently fails to see any adults on appropriate visits and virtually never sees more than five would qualify as D . Also most sites of less than four hectares, but apply common sense in such cases. D-ranked sites are sometimes important as stepping stones for transients moving between better EOs. Consider whether such an occurrence would be better treated as a deme in a larger metapopulation.
Justification: These SPECs cannot cover all contingencies and are based primarily on limited field experience in the core range just before they were lost to Dimilin applications. These were occurrences that had been present for some time and where adults could be reliably seen. Most or all had survived at least one serious drought in the 1980s. This species never did occur in large dense populations so far as known, but often several per acres could be found and a few occurrences were hundreds of acres in both New Jersey and the core range. At present only a few scattered small colonies are thought to exist although one occurrence in Virginia might be more extensive.

While an occurrence that cannot be protected from gypsy moth spraying will probably be extirpated when such spraying happens, and in that sense is not really likely to be viable, occurrence ranks should be based on actual conditions not expected events. Thus such doomed occurrences should not be ranked D if they would otherwise be viable. However, they should be ranked as historic immediately following spraying and extirpated when a negative field check has been completed unless recolonization from an unsprayed site is expected. No examples where an occurrence appears to have survived spraying with DDT, Carbaryl, Dimilin or BTK are known, although a very large population probably would have a few survivors with the last.

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: 07Nov2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Management Information Edition Date: 19Mar2007
Management Information Edition Author: Schweitzer, D.F. 2007 update based in part on a 1993 verison byALLEN, THOMAS, AND VAN DAM, BONNIE, Schweitzer, Dale F.
Management Information Acknowledgments: Thanks to all the state Heritage Program personnel who responded to requests for information: Ohio - Pat Jones; Maryland - Lynn Davidson; Minnesota - Mary Miller; Pennsylvania - Barb Barton. The efforts of Natural Heritage personnel in surrounding states, as well as within West Virginia, in searching for new and historic sites for the grizzled skipper are appreciated.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Mar2008
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): SCHWEITZER, D.

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, Thomas, 1998. Butterflies of West Virginia and Their Caterpillars. University of Pittsburgh Press.

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  • Parshall, David. 2002. A Conservation Assessment for the Southern Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus centaureae wyandot). Unpublished report. prepared for USDA Forest Service, Eastern Region.

  • Pyle, R.M., 1981. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North America Butterflies. Chanitcleer Press, Alfred A. Knopf, NY. 916 pp, 759 color figures.

  • SMITH, R.H. 1986. COPY OF LETTER SENT TO D. SCHWEITZER ON 30 MAY, RE: PYRGUS CENTAUREA, PAPILIO PALAMEDES, AND INCISALIA IRUS SIGHTINGS.

  • SMITH, R.H. 1987. BUTTERFLIES OF INTEREST TO THE MARYLAND NATURAL HERITAGE PROGRAM. 1986 REPORT. 5 PP.

  • SMITH, R.H. 1990. LETTER OF 18 NOVEMBER TO G.D. COOLEY. INCLUDES "RESPONSE TO REVISION OF LIST OF MARYLAND THREATENED AND ENDANGERED INSECTS." COVER LETTER AND 6 PP.

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