Chryxus Arctic (Oeneis chryxus [Doubleday])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/8 inches (4.5 - 5.4 cm).
Identification: Upperside is cream to brownish-orange. Forewing has 1-4 small black eyespots near the outer margin; hindwing has 1-2. Male forewing has a dark patch of sex scales. Underside of hindwing has black and white striations, a wide dark median band, veins with white scales, and only 1 black spot near the lower inner margin of the wing.
Life history: Caterpillars require 2 years to complete development; hibernating as young caterpillars the first winter, and as mature ones the second winter.
Flight: One brood from late May-early June every year; may be biennial because it is more numerous in even-numbered years in the Great Lakes region.
Caterpillar hosts: Poverty oat-grass (Danthonia spicata).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open grassy, rocky, and woodland areas; meadows; alpine tundra.
Range: Southern Alaska and Yukon Territory south through the western mountains to New Mexico; east across Canada to Manitoba. Isolated population in eastern Canada, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
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 G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. 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:
Ebner, J.A. 1970. Butterflies of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum Popular Science Handbook No. 12. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.