Pyrgus scriptura apertorum
Small Checkered Skipper
This subspecies was named by the late George Austin in the 1998 Systematics book (pp.524-5). Apertorum (from the "open spaces" in which it flies) is said to be larger on average, with a paler ground color (brown vs. black) and larger white spots, than what Austin saw in populations from the Bay Area, which are now the nominate species. He also pointed to the fringes, where in apertorum the brown checks usually reach about half-way to the edge on the forewing, while in nom. scriptura they usually reach the edge. According to Ken Davenport (2013), the scriptura in Kern County west of the San Joaquin Valley is the nominate species, while one apertorum was collected by Gordon Pratt at Edwards Air Force Base.
Pyrgus scriptura apertorum flies much of the year (see below for a fresh male in mid-December), but one is far more likely to see either Burnsius albezens or, especially, Heliopetes ericetorum in patches of the host mallows. Compared to those, scriptura is tiny, and can be hard to track as it darts around close to the ground.