Atalopedes campestris campestris (Boisduval, 1852)

Sachem or Field Skipper

This uncommon skipper is at least double-brooded, and may be found as early as March and as late as October if you happen upon it. Males have a large stigma that sets it apart from other grass skippers. I happened upon them along grassy roadsides around Valyermo, north of the San Gabriels, in September of 2008. Ken Davenport has written (Emmel update) that they are "extremely abundant" at Weldon in late September/early October.

Emmel, Emmel, and Mattoon (Systematics, pp.22-23) reckoned that Pierre Lorquin likely collected the type specimens "in the bottomlands near the Sacramento River." These were sent to France for Boisduval where he named Hesperia campestris on the basis of a male. He didn't realize he had a female as well. See below and the sylvanoides page.

Atalopedes campestris - Sachem or Field Skipper

The Field Skipper, also know as the Sachem; this is a female. From Valyermo, September 11, 2008. Valyermo is on the desert (north) side of the San Gabriel Mountains in L.A. County.

Atalopedes campestris - Sachem or Field Skipper
A male Sachem, same place and time.
Atalopedes campestris - Sachem or Field Skipper
Charles Oberthür's illustration of Boisduval's type specimens of Atalopedes campestris, but reflecting some confusion. Figure 2090 is indeed a male campestris, but he believed the female in 2085 was sylvanoides. This was published in 1913 in Études de Lépidoptérologie Comparée, p.43 and plate CCXL, combined here for convenience.

©Dennis Walker