Hi - for my first butterfly observation, I just had to pick a cryptic species complex, the Common/White Checkered-skipper complex.
Generally I prefer non-destructive field observations, leave specimen collection to the scientists. Especially with butterflies where here in California, several species are presumed extinct and others are in notable decline.
One issue I can not demand people be aware of but that I want people to be aware of, with a cryptic species complex for a mobile species, using “range maps” to identify the species should in many cases be avoided.
With the Common Checkered-skipper and the White Checkered-skipper, from what I understand it is impossible to distinguish females without genetic analysis. Males can be distinguished but only by examining their reproductive organ. So when a butterfly in that complex is posted here, range is often used to distinguish them.
However with butterflies and from what I have read this species in particular, range maps are not reliable. The White Checkered-skipper prefers warmer climates, but in the United States in response to climate change, its range has been demonstratably moving north often replacing Common Checkered-skipper populations. Unless range information is based upon very recent surveying of a statistically significant number of males that are only only species or the other, the reality is we can highly suspect one subspecies or the other but we can not know for certain.
I politely ask (but have no authority to demand) people when a species from such a cryptic species complex is posted with the identification as the species complex rather than as a species, please do not declare it one species or the other based upon range maps alone, unless you know of very recent scientific surveys in that region that can be cited. The ranges are changing.