Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Citizen Science at Work: Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris) in Port Alberni, BC

Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris), photo by Rick and Libby Avis

Thanks to the photo submissions of entomologists Rick and Libby Avis to E-Fauna BC, more is now known about the range  of the Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris) in BC.  Photo records take by Libby and Rick in July 2011 document the species presence in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.  Butterfly specialist Cris Guppy says: "[the] Dun Skipper record from Port Alberni is interesting -- it is a considerable extension of the Vancouver Island range." He adds: "Of course the range of the butterfly has probably not expanded, just our knowledge of the range."

In their book The Butterflies of British Columbia, Guppy and co-author Jon Shepard say:   "The Dun Skipper is known from southern Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Fraser River canyon upstream to Lillooet. Except for the Lillooet population the species has been encountered only as single individuals in mesic grassy areas, often along old railway right-of-ways.  The single Lillooet observation was at a spring surrounded by an extremely xeric area.  The spring area had enough sedge to support a population of Dun Skipper."  

The important role of citizen scientists in the collection of biodiversity data can't be overstated. Photo record contributors to E-Fauna BC and E-Flora BC have frequently added new range information about BC wild species and, in some cases, new species have been added to the flora or fauna.

Read the E-Fauna atlas page for the Dun Skipper here
View the Dun Skipper photo gallery on E-Fauna BC here
Visit Rick and Libby's photo gallery on E-Fauna here

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