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Butterflies of California -- Nymphalis [Aglais] milberti

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis [Aglais] milberti)
JPG -- species photo

Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti [Godart])

Wing span: 1 5/8 - 2 1/2 inches (4.2 - 6.3 cm).

Identification: Forewing tip squared-off. Upperside is black with a wide orange submarginal band which grades to yellow at the inner edge of band. Narrow black marginal border on both wings; the hindwing border may contain some blue spots.

Life history: In the afternoon, males perch on hillsides, banks of gulches, logs, or behind bushes to watch for females. Eggs are laid in large batches of up to 900 on the underside of host plant leaves. Young caterpillars feed together in a web, while older ones feed alone and make shelters of folded leaves tied with silk. Adults hibernate, sometimes in small groups.

Flight: Two broods from May-October.

Caterpillar hosts: Nettles (Urtica dioica and U. procera).

Adult food: Usually flowers, such as thistles, goldenrods, and lilacs; probably also sap and rotting fruit.

Habitat: Wet areas near woodlands, moist pastures, marshes.

Range: Boreal North America south of the taiga. Southern Alaska south to California, Nevada, and New Mexico; east to Newfoundland and West Virginia.

Conservation: Not required.

Management needs: None reported.

References:

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.

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.
Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis [Aglais] milberti)
distribution map
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