Rockslide Checkerspot - Chlosyne whitneyi
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.7-2.1 cm. Uppersurface checkered dingy red-orange and black with bluish sheen, dusky at base (females more boldly marked); undersurface checkered orange, white (not off-white) median band.
One flight; July to early August (Scott 1986); July to August (Glassberg 2001). July and August in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981); mid-July to early August, sometimes to early September in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).
Similar in appearance to Chlosyne palla (Northern Checkerspot) and C. acastus (Sagebrush Checkerspot). Undersurface hindwing median band white helps; best determined by habitat.
South central British Columbia and extreme western Alberta south in the Rocky Mountains to northeastern Utah and southern Colorado; an isolated population in the Sierra Nevada of California (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); between 3352 m and at least 3962 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978); above 3352 m elevation in California (Garth and Tilden 1963). In Montana, reported from Flathead, Glacier and Pondera counties near the Canadian border and Carbon County near the Wyoming border (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Rare to uncommon (Glassberg 2001).
Alpine rockslides, scree slopes, talus slopes, fell-field, rocky benches at and above treeline (Garth and Tilden 1963; Ferris and Brown 1981; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). In Glacier National Park, Montana reported above treeline in alpine terrain (Debinski 1993).
Larval food plants include Erigeron and Solidago (Scott 1986, 1992). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Arnica, Erigeron, Haplopappus, Polygonum, Potentilla, Senecio, Silene, Wyethia) and mud (Scott 1986, 2014).
Females lay eggs in clusters (up to 63 eggs) on the underside of host plant leaves, sometimes on flower buds. Young larvae gregarious, build no nests, overwinter under rocks first as "young" larvae (L1 or L2 instar?), again as L3-L4 instars, perhaps a third winter as L5 instar, pupate under rocks (Scott and Scott 1978; Scott 1979, 1986, 1992). Males perch throughout the day in rockslides, rocky hollows, rock chutes, road cuts across rock slides, awaiting passing females; sometimes patrol much of the day over rockslides near host plant in search of females (Scott 1975b, 1982, 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.
- Debinski, D. 1993. Butterflies of Glacier National Park, Montana. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. No. 159: 1-13.
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1963. Yosemite butterflies: an ecological survey of the butterflies of the Yosemite sector of the Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 2: 1-96.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Guppy, C.S. and J.H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia: including western Alberta, southern Yukon, the Alaska Panhandle, Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana. UBC Press (Vancouver, BC) and Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria, BC). 414 pp.
- 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.
- Pyle, R.M. 2002. The butterflies of Cascadia: a field guide to all the species of Washington, Oregon, and surrounding territories. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. 420 pp.
- 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. 1982. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. II. New observations and morphological adaptations. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 21(3): 177-187.
- 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.
- Opler, P.A., K. Lotts, and T. Naberhaus, coordinators. 2010. Butterflies and moths of North America. Big Sky Institute, Bozeman, MT. Available at: www.butterfliesandmoths.org (Accessed 15 June 2015).
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