Tiny Checkerspot (Dymasia dymas [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.3 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is light brownish orange with narrow dark markings; wings may have dark borders. Female often larger and lighter colored. Underside has a black terminal line and white marginal spots that are flat on the outer edge.
Life history: Males patrol for females in flats and gulches. Eggs are laid in small groups on the host plant; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Three or four flights from February-November in South Texas, March-October in New Mexico and California.
Caterpillar hosts: Hairy tubetongue (Siphonoglossa pilosella) in the acanthus family.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical scrub and desert, especially near valleys and washes.
Range: Central Mexico and Baja California north to southern California, central Arizona, central New Mexico, and South Texas.
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 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.