North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Michigan

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
JPG -- species photo

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:

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.

Nielsen, Mogens C., 1999.  Michigan Butterflies and Skippers: A Field Guide 
     and Reference.  Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing, MI.
     248 pp. 
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
distribution map
map legend

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