New subspecies described from Nebraska – Lon (Poanes) taxiles albimaculatus

In the latest “Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society” Steve Spomer (recently retired from UNL) has described a new subspecies of the Taxiles Skipper – Lon taxiles albimaculatus. For those of you struggling to keep up with the latest taxonomy Lon has replaced Poanes for some members of the genus, taxiles included. The type locality (see Jan 2, 2021 post for type locality discussion) for this new subspecies is Coffee Park, located in Sowbelly Canyon northeast of Harrison in Sioux County. This subspecies is differentiated from other populations with most females ventral hindwing prominently spotted (hence the ssp. name albimaculatus) and in most males the spot above the stigma on the dorsal forewing is obvious.

In Nebraska the species (subspecies) has been found from the Pine Ridge area eastward as far as the Niobrara Valley Preserve in Brown and Keya Paha Counties (where it represents the easternmost records in the country). This skipper flies once a year for several weeks in July, preferring moist woodlands, often near creeks or seeps. Larvae have been found/reared on various grasses.

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