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Montana Field Guides

Silvery Checkerspot - Chlosyne nycteis


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

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General Description
[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.

Phenology
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).

Diagnostic Characteristics
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.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
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).

Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
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.

Food Habits
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).

Reproductive Characteristics
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).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Silvery Checkerspot — Chlosyne nycteis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from