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Butterflies of California -- Oeneis nevadensis

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Great Arctic (Oeneis nevadensis)

Great Arctic (Oeneis nevadensis [Felder & Felder])

Wing span: 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 inches (5.7 - 6.3 cm).

Identification: Upperside is yellowish-tan with brown borders; forewing has 1 or 2 eyespots, hindwing usually has 1 spot. Male forewing has a long patch of dark sex scales. Underside of forewing is similar to the upperside; hindwing is mottled gray and brown with an indistinct median band.

Life history: Males perch all day in valley glades and on hilltops to seek females. Eggs are laid on dry grasses. Caterpillars require 2 years to complete development; hibernating as young caterpillars the first winter, and as mature ones the second winter. Pupation takes place at roots of grasses or under rocks.

Flight: One brood from May-July.

Caterpillar hosts: Probably grasses.

Adult food: Not reported.

Habitat: Coniferous forest openings, rocky hills, and meadow edges in the mountains.

Range: Vancouver Island, British Columbia south in the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada to Tulare County, California; south along the coast to Sonoma County, California.

Conservation: Not usually required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, 
     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
     Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 
     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 
     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 
     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]

Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.
     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.

Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.
     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 
     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.

Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural
     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 
     Angeles.
     
Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal
     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     

Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal
     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 
     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 
     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 
     University, Masters Thesis.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 
     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 
     Los Angeles.
Great Arctic (Oeneis nevadensis)
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