Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis [Doubleday])
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 2 inches (3.5 - 5.1 cm).
Identification: Upperside is pale yellow-orange with dark borders and markings. Hindwing above and below has some white-centered submarginal spots; hindwing below is pale with a large white crescent at the margin.
Life history: Males perch and patrol all day in open areas. Females lay eggs in batches of about 100 on the underside of host plant leaves. Young caterpillars move in groups as they skeletonize leaves. Partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood in the north from June-July, two broods in remainder of range from May-September. Possibly three to four broods in the Deep South and Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Many different composites including black-eyed susan (Rudbeckia), sunflowers (Helianthus), and wingstem (Actinomeris alternifolia).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of red clover, common milkweed, and dogbane.
Habitat: Moist, somewhat open places including streamsides, meadows, forest openings.
Range: Maritime Provinces west to southeast Saskatchewan; south through Wyoming and Colorado to central Arizona, southern New Mexico, south-central Texas, and Mississippi.
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.
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:
Nekola, Jeffrey C. 1995. County Distribution Maps of Iowa Butterflies and Skippers. Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI. 30 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.