Alberta Arctic - Oeneis alberta
[From Ferris and Brown 1981, Guppy and Shepard 2001] Forewing length 2.2-2.6 cm. The smallest of the arctics. Adults light brown or gray; usually several eyespots on dorsal forewing, none or one on dorsal hindwing; ventral hindwing across middle with irregular band with dark edges; line crossing ventral forewing projects sharply towards wing margin about 1/3 of the distance posteriorly from front edge of wing; wings thin, the underside marking visible from upperside.
One flight, from May to mid June (Scott 1986, Guppy and Shepard 2001, Acorn and Sheldon 2006).
Most like Oeneis uhleri, but O. alberta is smaller, has a pointed postmedian line on the ventral forewing, no orange on the ventral forewing, tends to be grayish in color with a strong and dark ventral hindwing band, with one small eyespot (sometimes absent) on the dorsal hindwing.
From extreme eastern British Columbia (Peace River) south along the Rocky Mountains to southern Arizona and northern New Mexico, east to western North Dakota and southern Manitoba (Scott 1986, Guppy and Shepard 2001); 2743 m to 3200 m in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978). In Montana, reported from northern and central counties east of the continental divide (Kohler 1980; Shepard and Opler 1993) to at least 1981 m elevation (Kohler 1978). Locally rare to locally common (Glassberg 2001).
Primarily in dry montane grassland, prairie bunchgrass hills, seldom in open woodlands (Ferris and Brown 1981, Scott 1986). In Montana, reported from montane grassland (Kohler 1978).
Larval food plants include bunchgrass (Festuca); larvae eat the leaves (Scott 1986, 1992). In addition to flower nectar, adults sip mud (Scott 1986, 2014).
Scant information. Eggs apparently laid singly on grass stems; larvae feed on grass leaves at least in captivity. Probably hibernates as mature larvae (possibly as pupae) with a two-year life cycle, although this not confirmed (Scott 1979, 1986, 1992). Males perch, and often patrol less than 10 m, throughout the day, usually in swales among bunchgrass, to encounter females (Scott 1975b, 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Acorn, J. and I. Sheldon. 2006. Butterflies of British Columbia. Edmonton, Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. pp.360
- 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.
- 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. 1978. Oeneis alberta (Satyridae) in Montana. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 32: 57-58
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- 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.
- Additional Sources of Information Related to "Insects"