California Sister (Adelpha bredowii [Geyer])
Wing span: 2 1/4 - 4 inches (5.7 - 10.1 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brownish black with an orange patch at the forewing apex. White median band across both wings is broken on the forewing.
Life history: Males perch and patrol all day for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on leaf edges; caterpillars feed on mature leaves. Young caterpillars make a long perch by extending a leaf vein with dung and silk. Partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: Two flights from May-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of oaks (Quercus) particularly evergreens.
Adult food: Rotting fruit, aphid honeydew, sometimes flower nectar such as California buckeye.
Habitat: Oak-covered hills, groves, and stream valleys.
Range: Southern Oregon east to Colorado, south to southern California, Arizona, South Texas, and Mexico.
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.
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:
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 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. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.