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Montana Field Guides

Lorquin's Admiral - Limenitis lorquini

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status


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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 2.7-3.6 cm. Upperside black, with white median bands on both wings, forewing with linear orange-brown patch at tip that runs along margin of apex, forewing cell with white spot. Underside a complex pattern of alternating reddish-brown bands and blue-gray bands on either side of white bands, with expanded rusty wing tips.

One flight in the north: June to mid-August; several flights in California: April to October (Scott 1986). Where single-brooded, June to August; where double-brooded, April to September (Glassberg 2001). Mid-February to early October in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002); early May to early October in Oregon and Washington, where double-brooded (James and Nunnallee 2011); mid-May to early August in British Columbia, where double-brooded (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by the upperside black, with white median bands on both wings, forewing with linear orange-brown patch at tip that runs along margin of apex.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
British Columbia south to southern California and Baja California, and east to Idaho and western Montana. In Montana, reported from all counties in the montane western quarter of the state, primarily west of the Continental Divide (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Common to abundant (Glassberg 2001).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 104

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)


Forest edges, mountain canyons, orchards, urban parks, gardens, riparian areas, deciduous woodlands (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011). In Glacier National Park, Montana reported from montane xeric meadows (Debinski 1993).

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (common or occasional) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species' range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point observation database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of "observations versus availability of habitat".
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were listed as associated with an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not listed as associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  Common versus occasional association with an ecological system was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species as represented in scientific literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignment of common versus occasional association.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact the Montana Natural Heritage Program's Senior Zoologist.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species' known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2012.  Mammals of Montana.  Second edition.  Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, Montana.  429 pp.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana's amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include Amelanchier, Ceanothus, Cotoneaster, Crataegus, Holodiscus, Malus, Populus, Prunus, Salix, and Spiraea (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Achillea, Asclepias, Apocynum, Aster, Cirsium, Eriodictyon, Heracleum, Tanacetum), sap, mud, and dung (Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on upper surface of leaf tips of host plants. Eggs hatch in 5-6 days (depending on temperature), reaching new larval instars in about 5 days each to final L5 stage, another 6 days as pupae, for a total development period of about 34 days to adult eclosion. Larvae build no nests, but rest for extended periods on upper surface of host plant leaves; overwintering occurs in second-generation L2 instars, which roll host-plant leaves into a hibernaculum and bind it with silk to a twig (Scott 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males territorial, perch throughout the day on shrubs and trees waiting for females to pass, and sometimes patrol (Scott 1975b, 1986; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011).

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Citation for data on this website:
Lorquin's Admiral — Limenitis lorquini.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from