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Biology of larvae and adults of Erynnis propertius at the northern edge of its range

  • Kirsten M. Prior (a1), Jason D.K. Dzurisin (a1), Shannon L. Pelini (a1) and Jessica J. Hellmann (a1)

We describe aspects of the life history of Erynnis propertius (Scudder and Burgess) (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) by examining several populations over multiple years. We focused on peripheral populations of this species because they are isolated, are threatened by habitat loss, and may play an important role in driving poleward range expansion under increasing regional temperature. Our findings show that the annual larval growth rate does not vary directly with temperature, adult flight phenology and the timing of key resources respond to average daytime temperatures in spring, and population-density patterns among sites are robust over years across a broad region near the species' northern range limit. In addition, we provide descriptions of all larval instars for this species. This fundamental information about the biology, timing, and abundance of this species will facilitate further experimental study and improved assessment of its conservation status.


Nous décrivons des aspects du cycle biologique d'Erynnis propertius (Scudder et Burgess) (Lepidoptera : Hesperiidae) d'après l'étude de diverses populations pendant plusieurs années. Nous nous sommes intéressés aux populations périphériques de l'espèce parce que celles-ci sont isolées et menacées de perdre leur habitat et qu'elles peuvent jouer un rôle important dans l'expansion de l'aire de répartition vers les pôles à cause de l'accroissement de la température régionale. Le taux de croissance annuel des larves ne varie pas directement en fonction de la température; la phénologie de vol des adultes et l'apparition des ressources essentielles réagissent aux températures moyennes de jour du printemps; les patrons de densité de population dans les différents sites sont stables au cours des années dans une large région adjacente à la limite nordique de l'aire de répartition de l'espèce. De plus, nous présentons des descriptions de tous les stades larvaires de l'espèce. Cette information de base sur la biologie, la phénologie et l'abondance de l'espèce permettra de faire des études expérimentales dans le futur et de mieux évaluer son statut de conservation.

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The Canadian Entomologist
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