The species Hesperiidae family. Its common name is known as the . The is a Holarctic species with three named subspecies in North America. Subspecies Pygrus centaureae loki occurs in the Rocky Mountains. Subspecies Pyrgus centaureae wyandot occurs in the eastern United States, from Ohio and possibly Michigan to New York and south in the Appalachians to North Carolina. Subspecies Pyrus centaurae freija ranges across northern North America from Alaska to Labrador. This species is also found in Canada, Scandinavia, and eastward across much of arctic Eurasia. It is also known from one location in Minnesota. ("Grizzled Skipper", 2010; "Pyrgus centaureae freija", 2013)is a member of the
- Other Geographic Terms
The Salix spp.), alder (Alnus icana), bilberry (Vaccinium cespitosum), and blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium and Vaccinium myrtilloides). ("Grizzled Skipper", 2010; "Pyrgus centaureae freija", 2013)is found in a wide variety of habitats. It is found in tundras on Mont-Albert, bogs in northern Quebec, meadows and valley bottoms in the Rocky Mountains, and forest clearings, taiga, and scrubby willow thickets in northern Manitoba. At the one known location in Minnesota, the skipper occurs in a large, old clearing on sandy soils dominated by grasses, with some willow (
Pyrgus males have the basal half of the leading edge of the forewing folded back. Within the fold are hundreds of specialized wing scales called androconia, from which pheromones are disseminated to entice females into copulation. In this species, the female is larger than the male. Wingspan ranges from 22 to 28 mm. ("Grizzled Skipper", 2010)is brownish black, with many irregular white patches, which are more dispersed on the hind wings, and black and white fringes on both wings. The underside is checkered in white and greyish-brown spots, and white veins. All
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- Range wingspan
- 22 to 28 mm
- 0.87 to 1.10 in
There is little known about the reproductive habits of ("Attributes of Pyrgus centaureae", 2013; "Grizzled Skippers Need Our Help", 2013; "Attributes of Pyrgus centaureae", 2013; "Grizzled Skippers Need Our Help", 2013). After mating, females lay dozens to hundreds of eggs, one by one, on or near the leaves of the host plant.
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding season
- breeds in late spring, usually during the months of May and June.
Females provide provisioning in the eggs, and also lay the eggs on suitable host plants, providing a food source for the caterpillars upon hatching. After the female lays the eggs, there is no further parental care given to the offspring. ("Attributes of Pyrgus centaureae", 2013)
- Parental Investment
- Typical lifespan
- 1 to 2 months
- Typical lifespan
The grizzled skipper has a rapid darting flight, always close to the ground. Males are territorial, using stones or small fallen branches as perches from which they dart up to intercept females or to challenge other males. Males exhibit perching behaviour during cooler temperatures, and switch to patrolling in warmer conditions. These butterflies feed with their wings half open. ("Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus centaureae", 2013)
Most adults stay within the same general area but dispersal distances of 1.5 km have been recorded. ("Grizzled Skippers Need Our Help", 2013)
Communication and Perception
- Other Communication Modes
Fragaria virginiana), Canadian cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis), varileaf cinquefoil (P. diversifolia), and cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus). Adults feed using a long tube called a proboscis, which allows them to retrieve nectar from flowers of many low-growing plants, such as blueberry, wild strawberry, and Canadian cinquefoil. ("Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus centaureae", 2013)larvae feed on leaves, fruit, and flowers of plants such as wild strawberry (
- Plant Foods
- Anti-predator Adaptations
While feeding on nectar from many species of flower, Pyrgrus centaureae likely aids in the pollination of these flowers. It also serves as prey to a variety of invertebrate predators. ("Grizzled Skipper - Pyrgus centaureae", 2013)
- Ecosystem Impact
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known positive effects of Pyrgrus centaureae on humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Grizzled skippers do not cause any problems for humans.
Taylor Bohman (author), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
a wetland area rich in accumulated plant material and with acidic soils surrounding a body of open water. Bogs have a flora dominated by sedges, heaths, and sphagnum.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
a period of time when growth or development is suspended in insects and other invertebrates, it can usually only be ended the appropriate environmental stimulus.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.
a distribution that more or less circles the Arctic, so occurring in both the Nearctic and Palearctic biogeographic regions.
Found in northern North America and northern Europe or Asia.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
- scrub forest
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
Coniferous or boreal forest, located in a band across northern North America, Europe, and Asia. This terrestrial biome also occurs at high elevations. Long, cold winters and short, wet summers. Few species of trees are present; these are primarily conifers that grow in dense stands with little undergrowth. Some deciduous trees also may be present.
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
A terrestrial biome with low, shrubby or mat-like vegetation found at extremely high latitudes or elevations, near the limit of plant growth. Soils usually subject to permafrost. Plant diversity is typically low and the growing season is short.
uses sight to communicate
2013. "Appalachian Grizzled Skipper" (On-line). Conserve Wildlife. Foundation of New Jersey.. Accessed March 26, 2013 at http://www.conservewildlifenj.org/species/fieldguide/view/Pyrgus%20wyandot/.
2013. "Attributes of http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Pyrgus-centaureae." (On-line). Butterflies and Moths of North America. Accessed March 26, 2013 at
2013. "Grizzled Skipper - http://fieldguide.mt.gov/detail_IILEP38010.aspx." (On-line). Montana Field Guide. Accessed March 26, 2013 at
2010. "Grizzled Skipper" (On-line). Butterflies of Canada. Accessed March 26, 2013 at http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/butterflies/species/GrizzledSkipper_e.php.
Peter Eeles. 2013. "Grizzled Skipper" (On-line). UK Butterflies. Accessed March 26, 2013 at http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=malvae.
2013. "Grizzled Skippers Need Our Help" (On-line). Butterfly Conservation. Accessed March 25, 2013 at http://butterfly-conservation.org/files/habitat-grizzled-skipper.pdf.
2013. "Pyrgus centaureae freija" (On-line). Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Accessed March 25, 2013 at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=IILEP38011.
2007. "Pyrgus centaureae wyandot" (On-line). Michigan Natural Features Inventory. Accessed March 26, 2013 at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/abstracts/zoology/pyrgus_wyandot.pdf.
2012. "http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=115356&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=115356&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=115356&selectedIndexes=121224&selectedIndexes=109139." (On-line). NatureServe Explorer. Accessed March 26, 2013 at