Variable Checkerspots: Leucistic and Normal

Subject:  Leucistic butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  8 miles SW of Casper, WY
Date: 06/21/2019
Time: 10:46 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Daniel, I thought this leucistic Variable Checkerspot butterfly I photographed 6/14/19 might interest your readers.  I’m including typically marked checkerspots for comparison.
How you want your letter signed:  Dwaine

Leucistic Variable Checkerspot

Dear Dwaine,
We needed to research the term “leucistic” before we could address your submission, and we learned on Merriam Webster that leucanism is “an abnormal condition of reduced pigmentation affecting various animals (such as birds, mammals, and reptiles) that is marked by overall pale color or patches of reduced coloring and is caused by a genetic mutation which inhibits melanin and other pigments from being deposited in feathers, hair, or skin.”  In continuing our research, we found there are no examples of leucistic Variable Checkerspots on BugGuide, nor is there any mention in Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies Through Binoculars The West.  We are thrilled that you have allowed us to publish your images, and also thanks for including an image documenting the normal variations of the Variable Checkerspot,
Euphydryas chalcedona.

Leucistic Variable Checkerspot

You are very welcome, and I have the greatest respect for what you do.

Variable Checkerspots

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