Erynnis burgessi

Sleepy Duskywing

Erynnis burgessi is perhaps best known from Arizona and Nevada, but it also reaches eastern California in the eastern Mojave ranges where oak shrubs such as Quercus turbinella grow.

This butterfly was named by Henry Skinner in his 1914 article "Studies in the Genus Thanaos," avaliable here (and excerpted below). In the full article, Skinner descibes quite a mess that he was grappling with when it came to the dark spread-winged skippers. His study sought to improve upon the purely genitalic analysis of the group by Scudder and Burgess, whose slides that constituted the types were lost after Burgess's death. In any event, Skinner named Thanaos burgessi, which he considered similar to Thanaos brizo but genitalically distinct from it. His types are from Mt. Graham in Arizona. This butterfly then later considered a subspecies of brizo, but is once again considered a full species.

Erynnis burgessi - Sleepy duskywing skipper
Erynnis burgessi from the New York Mountains off Caruthers Canyon Road. May 6, 2020. It's the only one I saw that day.
Photo of Quercus turbinella
Quercus turbinella, also from Caruthers Canyon on May 6, 2020.
Photo of Quercus turbinella
A closer look at Quercus turbinella.
Erynnis burgessi - Sleepy duskywing skipper original description
Excerpt of Skinner's description of what is now Erynnis burgessi.

©Dennis Walker