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Butterflies of California -- Chlosyne whitneyi

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Rockslide Checkerspot (Chlosyne whitneyi)
JPG -- species photo

Rockslide Checkerspot (Chlosyne whitneyi [Behr])

Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 - 4.1 cm).

Identification: Upperside is slightly glossy black with pale orange to creamy white bands; female may be much darker. Underside of hindwing with a light orange marginal band, then alternating orange and creamy white bands on remainder of wing.

Life history: Males patrol and sometimes perch in hollows of rockslides to wait for females. Eggs are laid in batches on underside of host plant leaves and sometimes on flower buds. Caterpillars eat leaves and flowers, and feed together in groups. Third- and fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate under rocks; some diapause for two years or more to survive bad weather.

Flight: One flight from July-August.

Caterpillar hosts: Alpine plants of the sunflower family including Erigeron and Solidago species.

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Rocky slopes, benches, and rockslides at or above treeline.

Range: Rare. British Columbia and Alberta south in the mountains to California and Colorado.

Conservation: Not usually required.

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.
Rockslide Checkerspot (Chlosyne whitneyi)
distribution map
map legend

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