Yellow-dotted Alpine (Erebia pawlowskii [Menetries])
Remark: It has been recently discovered that the Theano Alpine is a species restricted to a small area of Asia, and Erebia pawlowskii Menetries is the proper name for our North American butterfly. The species also occurs in Asia.
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 13/16 inches (3.2 - 4.6 cm).
Identification: Wings are dark brown with no eyespots. Upperside has a submarginal row of orange dashes across both wings. Underside of forewing repeats the upperside pattern; hindwing has a row of yellow-cream spots.
Life history: Adults fly infrequently and mostly rest in the grass. Males patrol slowly above grasses to find females. Eggs are laid singly on dead leaf blades near grasses, sedges, and rushes. Two years are required by the caterpillars to complete development; hibernation is by young caterpillars the first winter, mature caterpillars the second winter.
Flight: One brood every other year in July.
Caterpillar hosts: Probably grasses or sedges.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Grassy areas in and above wet tundra, bogs.
Range: Holarctic. Several isolated populations in North America from Alaska south in the mountains to Colorado; along the western edge of Hudson Bay to northern Manitoba.
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