Sagebrush Checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 inches (3.9 - 5.1 cm).
Identification: Upperside is checkered black, orange-brown, and orange; hindwing has a dark wing base and a light median band. Underside of hindwing has pearly white spots.
Life history: Males perch and sometimes patrol in gulches 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 months and maybe years to survive bad weather.
Flight: Two broods from June-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) and aster (Machaeranthera) in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Sagebrush scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands, dry gulches.
Range: Eastern North Dakota west to eastern Washington, south to New Mexico, southern Arizona, and eastern California.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Note:This butterfly includes several subspecies including neomoegeni.
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:
Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.