California Patch (Chlosyne californica [W. G. Wright])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 2 inches (3.2 - 5.1 cm).
Identification: Upperside is black with a wide orange median band and large orange submarginal spots. Underside of hindwing has a red spot near the abdomen which blends into the median band.
Life history: Males perch in the morning on hilltops to watch for females. Eggs are laid in groups on the underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves. Hibernation is by third-stage caterpillars.
Flight: Many broods from March-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Desert sunflower (Viguiera deltoidea var. parishii) in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Desert washes and canyons.
Range: Southern Nevada south to southwestern Arizona, southeastern California; Baja California and Sonora, Mexico.
Conservation: Not thought to be necessary.
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.
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.