Date of this Version
Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 75(2), 2021, 149–152
A new subspecies of Lon taxiles (W. H. Edwards, 1861) is described from the Pine Ridge of Nebraska and Black Hills of South Dakota. It is distinguished by the presence of distinct white spots on the VHW of females and darker males than specimens from other parts of its range.
The Taxiles skipper, Lon [formerly Poanes; see Cong et al. (2019)] taxiles (W. H. Edwards, 1861), is a woodland species found in mountainous areas in extreme southeastern Idaho, through Colorado and Utah, south through New Mexico and Arizona, into Mexico. There is also a somewhat disjunct eastern population, ranging from the Pine Ridge of Nebraska, eastern Wyoming, into the Black Hills of South Dakota, north to the Badlands of North Dakota. Most western populations are fairly consistent in phenotype, and the sexes are dimorphic. Males are orange and black dorsally and yellow with brown spotting ventrally, while females are brownish dorsally with a purplish-brown ventral hindwing. Both sexes resemble Lon zabulon (Boisduval & Le Conte, ), at least ventrally, and are considered the western counterpart of that species. While collecting in the Pine Ridge and Black Hills in the early 1980s, I noticed that the phenotype there was distinct from the more western populations. Instead of having the spotting on the ventral hind wing of females obscured as in other areas, these specimens had distinct white spotting. I was intrigued, so decided to examine specimens from nearby eastern Wyoming, as well as more specimens from Nebraska and South Dakota, and compare these with typical populations from the Rocky Mountains and other western mountain ranges. This led me to describe a new taxon: