California Giant Skipper
This is an Agave-feeding skipper flying September-October in the desert from southern California into Baja California. The type locality of "La Puerta" is clarified by H.A. Freeman as Mason Valley, in San Diego County. Freeman has the following distribution for this skipper: "Western Colorado Desert of Californa; type locality [Mason Valley]; Banner Grade; Sentenac Canyon, 9-10 miles east of Julian; Palms to Pines Highway [i.e. highway 74 out of Palm Desert up to the Santa Rosas such as Cactus Spring Trail]; San Felipe Valley; Vallecitos; near Jacumba. Northern Baja California, Mexico" (Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society, 1969, Supplement 1).
Agathymus stephensi was named (as Megathymus neumoegeni stephensi) by Henry Skinner in the Philadelphia-based journal Entomological News, March, 1912, Vol. 23, No. 3. It was then illustrated - a photograph unfortunately - in Vol. 2, No. 1 (1913) of Contributions to the Naturnal History of the Lepidoptera of North America by William Barnes and J.H. McDonnough. I much prefer the often-beautiful drawings from the older journals. H.A. Freeman revised the genera of the Megathymidae in 1958, introducing the genus Agathymus (The Lepidopterists' News, Vol.12, nos.3-4 (1958)). By then, stephensi was recognized as a species separate from neumoegeni.