Pyrgus ruralis - (Boisduval, 1852)
Two-banded Checkered-Skipper
Synonym(s): Hesperia ruralis W. H. Edwards (1865) ;Syrichtus ruralis Boisduval (1852)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pyrgus ruralis (Boisduval, 1852) (TSN 706778)
French Common Names: hespérie damier rurale
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.110507
Element Code: IILEP38020
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 ruralis
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 15Feb2016
Global Status Last Changed: 30Sep1998
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread, not very threatened, but somewhat local distribution.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (30Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (15Feb2016)

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 California (SNR), Colorado (S3), Idaho (S5), Montana (S5), Nevada (SNR), Oregon (SNR), Utah (SNR), Washington (S5), Wyoming (SNR)
Canada Alberta (S2S3), British Columbia (S5)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies lagunae of California is listed Endangered by the USFWS.

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Mountains of western North America from British Columbia and Alberta to [southern] California, Nevada, Utah, and northern Colorado (Stanford, 1981). Cascades, Sierra Nevada and coast ranges east to Rocky Mountains (Pyle, 1981).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: More than 150 counties in 8 United States and Canada (Stanford and Opler, 1993). Widespread but reported as "uncommon and local" (Tilden and Smith, 1986; Stanford, 1981; Pyle, 1981).

Population Size: 1000 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: In the Rockies, ruralis is widespread but uncommon (Stanford, 1981). Usually uncommon and local (Tilden and Smith, 1986). This species is seldom found in large numbers (Pyle, 1981).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Overall not seriously threatened. Local habitat may be effected by grazing, fire suppression, recreational development, water diversion, reservoir construction and other anthropogenic activities.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Unknown. Habitats throughout the range have undergone alteration due to anthropogenic disturbance such as grazing, suburban development, forestry practices of logging, fire suppression, and recreational development.

Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Fragility unknown. However, low observed numbers numbers and local distribution may leave this species vulnerable to local extinction by stochastic events or anthropogenic disturbance.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) Mountains of western North America from British Columbia and Alberta to [southern] California, Nevada, Utah, and northern Colorado (Stanford, 1981). Cascades, Sierra Nevada and coast ranges east to Rocky Mountains (Pyle, 1981).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Canada AB, BC

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CA San Diego (06073)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
18 Santa Margarita (18070302)+, San Luis Rey-Escondido (18070303)+, Cottonwood-Tijuana (18070305)+*, Carrizo Creek (18100202)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Skipper Butterfly, (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae)
General Description: The Two-banded checkered skipper is a small dark species with two rows of small hyaline spots on the upper surface of each wing. Those on the forewing are median and postmedian, while those on the hindwing are postmedian and submarginal. The narrow and frequently incomplete white ventral hind wing bands cross a mottled ochraceous to rusty background. Males have costal folds and tibial tufts. Similar species: CENTAUREAE, XANTHUS. [RURALIS is] not as two banded as CENTAUREAE, having also a weakly developed submarginal series on the dorsal forewing and a small basal dorsal hindwing dot. It is also darker and smaller [male forewing 1.2-1.3cm], with median white spots in spaces Cu1-Cu2 and Cu2-2A (Cu1, Cu2 = Two branches of the cubitus on the forewing; 2A=the second anal vein of the forewing) (Stanford, 1981).
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Woodland - Conifer
Habitat Comments: Habitat includes mountains of western North America. Canadian Zone (sometimes Transition and lower Hudsonian Zone) forest clearings. In the Rockies ruralis is widespread but uncommon, preferring forest clearings and small meadows along streams; in Colorado it occurs from 7800' to 10,500'(2300-3200m). Hostplants herb Rosaceae: POTENTILLA DRUMMONDII, HORKELIA FUSCA; assoc. with H. BOLANDERI (Scott, 1986; Scott, 1975). Males frequent wet places along roads and trails (Ferris and Brown, 1981). Males patrol all day (and sometimes perch) near the ground in valley bottoms and swales to seek females (Scott, 1986).
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Food Comments: Caterpillar Hosts: Herbaceous plants in the rose family (Rosaceae) including Drummond's potentilla (Potentilla drummondii), dusky horkelia (Horkelia fusca), Santa Rosa horkelia (H. tenuiloba), Cleveland's horkelia (H. clevelandii), and probably others. Adult Food: Flower nectar (Lotts and Naberhaus 2017).
Phenology Comments: Eggs laid singly on the host. One flight, mostly May in the California Coast Ranges and at low altitude in the mountains, M June-M July at high altitude; ssp. LAGUNAE has one flight M April-E June and a complete or partial second flight L June-M July (Scott, 1986). The biology in [the Rocky Mountain states] is poorly known. The short flight begins in mid May at lower elevations but extends into early July in the higher mountains (Stanford, 1981).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Investigate life history, especially early stages.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Pyrginae

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or recently has occurred, where there is potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally a suitable habitat with the larval foodplant where at least one adult has been verified by a photograph or preferably a specimen. Photographs must be diagnostic and will may need to show both wing surfaces, and there will be circumstances where only a specimen or genitalia examination of one will suffice. Specimens are much easier to obtain. Sight records are not an acceptable basis for a new EO. High quality occurrences will generally support metapopulations.
Mapping Guidance: Consult the habitat and food comments fields for species-specific information on what constitutes suitable habitat when mapping occurrences for individual species.
In very many cases the habitat will be very obviously defined, e.g. eastward a pine barrens or savanna, a ridgeline with many outcrops, a powerline, or multiple foodplant patches within an airport approach zone. Westward metapopulations may be confined to obvious features like a canyon, a stretch of riparian zone or a ridge system. In such cases use the boundaries for the feature supporting the overall metapopulation and it may be useful to map major foodplant patches within these. With a few exceptions such as oak feeding ERYNNIS, most species in this group feed as larvae on plants, usually legumes or mallows, that are typically not community dominants and are often patchy or sparse. So where practical base boundaries on obvious habitat features.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: When dealing with multiple patches of habitat within an obvious feature like a pine barrens, airport approach zone or powerline, consider all as one metapopulation subject to the suitable habitat distance. On most right of ways or if tthe species is occurring patchily along a riparian corridor, apply the suitable habitat distance unless the foodplant really is completely absent for at least half that distance.
Separation Justification: Most species use small discrete habitats or have patchy foodplant two kilometers across really unsuitable habitat should nearly isolate EOs. However, with marginal habitat use the 10 kilometer figure. On the other hand some adults do wander, especially in summer broods, and even the most localized species seem to be unable to persist long as isolated colonies, but do so mostly as metapopulations. Note the drastic decline of ERYNNIS MARTIALIS and E, PERSIUS PERSIUS eastward, including numerous state extirpations, once they became isolated on a few ridges and small (few hundred hectares) barrens. Even common species such as THORYBES BATHYLLUS often exist in very low densities patchily over large areas and often fail to occupy or persist in small habitat scraps. On the other hand around airports and in right of ways most to all habitat patches are typically occupied at least some of the time. Most Pyrginae are not usually found in dense numbers. These observations strongly suggest much movement and a general need for metapopulations although better data would be desirable, Some occurrences are several kilometers in one or more dimension, even some for rare species such as at least in the 1970s-early 1980s for ERYNNIS PERSIUS PERSIUS in the pine barrens around Concord, new Hampshire and Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: In most cases with taxa likely to be actually tracked and mapped occurrences will be in habitats or remnants of habitats of only dozens to perhaps 100 hectares or occupying discrete patches within larger communities or landscape features and the inferred extent is all available habitat even if this exceeds 1 kilometer. However in cases where the habitat appears extensive or is unclear and information on the occurrence is limited, assume only all suitable habitat within I kilometer radius. Note however if the foodplant is spotty or highly localized never infer an extent greater than that occupied by this plant. In general these skipper will largely occupy suitable habitat where they are present at all, but often one will not really know what suitable habitat really is locally. In extreme cases such as ERYNNIS JUVENALIS and E. HORATIUS, occurrences in the core of their ranges may well be hundreds of thousands of hectares in heavily oak forested regions, such as obviously so for the former in southern New Jersey.
Date: 18Sep2001
Author: Schweitzer, Dale F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Excellent Viability: Large estimated population size (e.g., observation of 100+ individuals) with evidence of persistence and reproduction. Large extent (e.g., 1000+ acres) of continuous apparently suitable habitat with ecosystem processes intact and a low degree of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation.
Good Viability: Moderate estimated population size (e.g., obs. of 20-100 individuals) with evidence of persistence and reproduction. Moderate extent (e.g., 500-100 acres) of apparently suitable habitat with ecosystem processes intact or restorable. Also, large estimated population in altered or highly fragmented habitat.
Fair Viability: Small estimated population size (e.g., obs. of 2-10 individuals), but with a reasonable chance of peristence, for example with evidence of long-term persistence or reproduction, with a moderate extent of apparently suitable habitat (e.g., 100-500 acres). Also, moderate sized population where ecosystem processes are altered but restorable with intense effort.
Poor Viability: Very small population size (e.g., single specimen or observation in apparently suitable habitat). Also, small or moderate-sized population where habitat is irreversibly altered or highly fragmented such that persistence is unlikely.
Justification: These are based on the experience of the first two authors with some minor editing by Schweitzer.
Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
Date: 15Feb2007
Author: Simonson, S.E., P.A. Opler,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: 19May1995
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Simonson, S.E., P.A. Opler,Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 13Jun1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Simonson, S. E. and P. A. Opler

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

References
Help
  • Lotts, K., and T. Naberhaus, coordinators. 2017. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Available online: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version December 2018).

  • Miller, L. D. and F. M. Brown. 1981. A Catalogue/Checklist of the Butterflies of America North of Mexico. The Lepidopterists' Society Memoir No. 2, Sarasota, Florida. 280 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.

  • 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.

  • Pohl, G.R.  J-F. Landry, B.C. Schmidt, J.D. Lafontaine, J.T. Troubridge, A.D. Macaulay, E.van Nieukerken, J.R. deWaard, J.J. Dombroskie, J. Klymko, V. Nazari and K. Stead. 2018. Annotated checklist of the moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) of Canada and Alaska. Pensoft Publishers. 580 pp.

  • Pyle, R. M. 1981. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, New York. 916 pp. + color plates.

  • Pyle, Robert Michael. 1981. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 915 pp.

  • Scott, J. A. 1975. Pyrgus xanthus (Hesperiidae): Systematics, Foodplants and Behavior. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society. Volume 29, Number 4.

  • Scott, J. A. 1975. Pyrgus xanthus (Hesperiidae): Systematics, Foodplants and Behavior. Journal of the Lepidopterists Society. Volume 29, Number 4.

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

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

  • Stanford, R. E. 1981. Hesperiodea. In: Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. pp. 67-140.

  • Stanford, R. E. 1981. Hesperiodea. In: Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. pp. 67-140.

  • Stanford, Ray E. and Paul A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado. 275 pp.

  • Stanford, Ray E. and Paul A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western U.S.A. butterflies, including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Self-published, Denver, CO. 265 pp.

  • Tilden, J. W., and A. C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 370 pp. + color plates.

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