Silvery Checkerspot - Chlosyne nycteis
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001] Forewing 1.8-2.4 cm. Uppersurface variable, very wide black forewing borders, predominantly black with orange forewing band in Rocky Mountains, primarily orange in Plains states and the East, to nearly immaculate orange in parts of the Rockies; hindwing with at least one white submarginal spot unless obscurred by black scaling. Undersurface of hindwing checkered, very broad pale median band with individual silvery spots bulging outward, submarginal row may show one large silvery-white spot in cell M3 to several silvery marginal crescents.
One flight, June to mid-July northward and in the Rocky Mountains; two flights May to September in the northeast; several flights, March to September in the southeast and Texas (Scott 1986). May to October in the southeast, mid-June to August in northern region with two flights, June to July where a single flight (Glassberg 2001). Early June to mid-July in south-central Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978).
Best determined by very wide black forewing borders, uppersurface predominantly black with orange forewing band in Rocky Mountains; undersurface of hindwing checkered, very broad pale median band with individual silvery spots bulging outward, submarginal row may show one large silvery-white spot in cell M3 to several silvery marginal crescents.
Southeastern Saskatchewan and Manitoba south to east-central Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southeast Texas; throughout the east from southern Canada to the Gulf states and excluding the southern Atlantic coast, rarely to Florida panhandle (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); 1463 m to 2987 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981). In Montana, reported only from Carbon County (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Locally rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).
Riparian openings along streams, second-growth scrub, mixed woodland clearings, shaded moist valleys (Brown 1957; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001). Habitat not described for Montana but likely similar.
Larval food plants include Actinomeris, Conyza, Doellingeria, Helianthus (several species), Rudbeckia, Solidago, Symphyotrichum, and Verbesina (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Cirsium, Eriogonum, Gaillardia, Heracleum, Jamesia, Melilotus, Prunus, Rudbeckia, Senecio), mud, and carrion (Payne and King 1969; Scott 2014).
Females lay eggs in clusters (averaging 112 eggs) on undersides of host plant leaves. Young larvae gregarious, build a silked nest on underside of leaf, hibernate (overwinter) as L3 or L4 instar, rarely L2, in curled leaf tip; pupae suspended from dry plant stalk not necessarily the host plant (Scott 1979, 1986, 1992, 2006). Males patrol throughout the day around host plant along stream sides in search of females (Scott 1975b, 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Brown, F.M. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Proceedings; Numbers Three through Seven. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Co.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Second edition. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 540 pp.
- Payne, J.A. and E.W. King. 1969. Lepidoptera associated with pig carrion. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 23(3): 191-195.
- Scott, J.A. 1975b. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14:1-40.
- Scott, J.A. 1979. Hibernal diapause of North American Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18(3): 171-200.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Scott, J.A. 1992. Hostplant records for butterflies and skippers (mostly from Colorado) 1959-1992, with new life histories and notes on oviposition, immatures, and ecology. Papilio new series #6. 185 p.
- Scott, J.A. 2014. Lepidoptera of North America 13. Flower visitation by Colorado butterflies (40,615 records) with a review of the literature on pollination of Colorado plants and butterfly attraction (Lepidoptera: Hersperioidea and Papilionoidea). Contributions of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthopod Diversity. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 190 p.
- Scott, J.A. and G.R. Scott. 1978. Ecology and distribution of the butterflies of southern central Colorado. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 17(2): 73-128.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden: a field guide to the butterfly caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press.
- Brock, J.P. and K. Kaufman. 2003. Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
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