Polites sabuleti tecumseh

Common Name
Tecumseh Skipper

The Polites sabuleti complex may contain several genetic species. Tecumseh is the "high Sierran" subspecies, occurring from the vicinity of Bucks Lake south at mostly high altitudes and extending above tree-line in the south. It is small and heavily marked both above and below, but there is significant phenotypic and molecular variation among populations. The population at Donner Pass is typical in being univoltine and emerging in June-July (7000'). It can be quite abundant. There was formerly a bivoltine population (June and September) on Bear Valley at Lang (a little under 5000'). It is now extinct; its loss seemed to follow the removal of cattle grazing and the consequent change from low turf to tall grass. There is still a bivoltine population at Sierra Valley (also 5000'). Very common at Donner; uncommon at Castle Peak; numbers vary enormously at Sierra Valley from year to year. Males perch territorially on the ground, or on protruding objects including dried cowpies. An avid visitor to pink pussy-paws, dandelion, Aster and other low meadow flowers. Larval hosts undetermined perennial grasses. The situation at Sierra Valley is very confusing.