Northern Checkerspot - Chlosyne palla
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.8-2.4 cm. Fringe checkered black and white. Variable uppersurface basecolor, from mostly orange to mostly black. Uppersurface checkered ,most often reddish-orange with a light-yellow median row and darker postmedian spot row, base of hindwing dark; undersurface checkered pattern of buff yellow and reddish-orange basal region, alternate bands of brick red and pale yellow defined by black lines, the submarginal yellowish band enclosing orange, white-irised spots.
One flight; late April to mid-June in lowland California and Washington, May to June in Oregon and British Columbia, mid-June to mid-July inland and mountains (Scott 1986). April to August (Glassberg 2001); late March to early August with peak in June and July in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002); mid-June to mid-July in Washington and British Columbia (James and Nunnallee 2011).
Distinguished by combination of habitat, undersurface hindwing median spotband off-white, the 2nd and 3rd small pale spots from leading margin nearly equal.
Southern British Columbia and Alberta south to southern California, in the Rocky Mountains to central Utah and southern Colorado, absent in the Great Basin (Scott 1986, Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); to 2926 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957), to 1250 m elevation in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001). In Montana, reported from most counties in the mountainous western half of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Common (Glassberg 2001).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Non-migratory, but may move up to 1.6 km (Scott 1986).
Streamsides in sagebrush, oak woodland, chaparral, mixed conifer woodlands, montane meadows, paths, roads, aspen (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Pyle 2002). Reported in Glacier National Park, Montana in montane xeric and mesic meadows (Debinski 1993).
Larval food plants include several species of Aster and Chrysothamnus, Erigeron, Senecio, Solidago, and Symphyotrichum (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Achillia, Allium, Apocynum, Ceanothus, Erigeron, Eriodictyon, Erioganum, Helianthus, Jamesia, Lomatium, Prunus, Ranunculus, Rubus, Rudbeckia, Sedum, Senecio, Taraxacum, Trifolium), mud, dung, and ash (Scott 1986, 2014; Pyle 2002; James and Nunnallee 2011).
Females lay eggs in clusters (of 17-160 eggs) on the underside on host plant leaves (Scott 1986, 1992; James and Nunnallee 2011). Number of eggs per ovariole (1/8 of total) about 180 (Ehrlich and Ehrlich 1978). Eggs hatch in 5-9 days (depending on temperature), develop to L3 instar in about 9 days post egg-hatch and enter diapause (overwinter) as mature L3 instar. After diapause, reaches L4 instar in 10 days and L5 in another 17 days. Pupation occurs after 27 days as L5, adults eclose (emerge from pupae in 9 days; development more rapid in populations avoiding diapause, from egg-hatch to pupation in 28 days, with adults eclosing in 6 days. Larvae gregarious, build no nests or sometimes a flimsy slik nest when young (Scott 1986, 1992; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males patrol throughout the day around larval host plants seeking females, also perch on dirt prominences in roadside ditches, swales, sometimes hilltop (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.
- Ehrlich, A.H. and P.R. Ehrlich. 1978. Reproductive strategies in the butterflies: I. Mating frequency, plugging, and egg number. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 51(4): 666-697.
- 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.
- James, D.G. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life histories of Cascadia butterflies. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 447 p.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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. 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.
- 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
Do you know of a citation we're missing?
- 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.
- Caruthers, J.C., and D. Debinski. 2006. Montane meadow butterfly species distributions in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report, 2006. Vol. 30, Art. 14. 85-96.
- 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"