California Dogface (Colias eurydice [Boisduval])
Wing span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (5.1 - 6.3 cm).
Identification: Black outer half of male forewing encloses yellow-orange "dog's head" tinged with light purple iridescence. Black "eye" very near or touching the border. Hindwing yellow-orange, sometimes with black border. Female all yellow with a black upper forewing cell spot; sometimes with scattered black scaling on outer half.
Life history: Males patrol for females.
Flight: Two flights from April-May and July-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Usually false indigo (Amorpha californica) in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Foothills, chaparral, oak or coniferous woodlands.
Range: North-central California south to Baja California, west of the central mountains and deserts.
Conservation: None usually required.
Management needs: Not reported.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
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.