Swamp Metalmark (Calephelis muticum McAlpine)
Wing span: 15/16 - 1 3/16 inches (2.4 - 3 cm).
Identification: Male with pointed forewing. Upperside of both sexes bright red-brown; dark median band not evident. Wing fringes lightly checkered.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on underside of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Fourth and fifth stage caterpillars overwinter.
Flight: One flight from June-August in the Great Lakes region, two flights from May-September in the south.
Caterpillar hosts: Swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum) and roadside thistle (C. altissimum).
Adult food: Nectar from yellow flowers including black-eyed susans.
Habitat: Bogs, marshes, swamps, wet meadows.
Range: Populations in southern Michigan, southern Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, and northern Arkansas. Isolated populations in central Kentucky and eastern Iowa.
Conservation: Isolated populations should be conserved wherever found.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.