North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Minnesota

Macoun's Arctic (Oeneis macounii)
JPG -- species photo

Macoun's Arctic (Oeneis macounii [W. H. Edwards])

Wing span: 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 inches (5.7 - 7 cm).

Identification: Upperside is bright orange-brown with black borders on both wings. Two black eyespots on forewing, one on hindwing. Male lacks a patch of black scales on the forewing. Underside of hindwing is cloudy gray with a distinct dark median band.

Life history: Males perch in glades to watch for receptive females. Caterpillars require 2 years to complete development; hibernating as young caterpillars the first winter, and as mature ones the second winter.

Flight: One brood from early June to early July. East of southeast Manitoba, adults fly in even-numbered years; westward, in odd-numbered years.

Caterpillar hosts: Probably sedges (Carex species).

Adult food: Occasionally flower nectar.

Habitat: Openings in forests of western jack or lodgepole pine.

Range: Across southern Canada from British Columbia through the prairie provinces to northern Minnesota, northern Michigan, and central Ontario.

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.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Macoun's Arctic (Oeneis macounii)
distribution map
map legend

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