Northern Checkerspot (Chlosyne palla [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 7/8 inches (3.5 - 4.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male is brownish red with a pale median band; base of hindwing is dark. Underside is brownish orange with creamy white bands. Female may be similar to male or black with white spots.
Life history: Males perch in valleys or patrol near host plants for females. Eggs are laid in groups on the underside of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Caterpillars feed together when young, sometimes in a slight silk web. Partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One flight; in coastal California from April-May, in mountains and northern areas from April-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Goldenrod (Solidago), rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus), and asters.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Coastal chaparral, open woodland, sagebrush, meadows, streamsides.
Range: Southern British Columbia and Alberta south to southern California, south through the Rocky Mountains to Utah and Colorado.
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.
Note:This butterfly was formerly known as Chlosyne damoetas
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:
Hinchliff, J. 1996. The Distribution of the Butterflies of Washington. Evergreen Aurelians. Oregon State University Bookstore, Corvallis. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Pyle, R.M. 1974. Watching Washington Butterflies. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Wash. 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.