This widespread species ranges from southern British Columbia east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia. In the U.S., it ranges from northern Washington, western Montana, central Colorado, and eastern Texas east to the Atlantic; it also occurs in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, as well as in isolated portions of Oregon and California. It is rare in Idaho, and has been documented to occur only in three counties along the eastern border: Fremont, Caribou, and Bear Lake.
The preferred habitat varies across its near high elevation lakes in the northwest, forests in California, and prairies and grassy places in the east.
Caterpillar: Caterpillars feed on the leaves of several varieties of grasses, including panic grass (Panicum spp.), slender crabgrass (Digitaria filiformis), and bluegrass (Poa spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
The number of generations of caterpillars each year varies throughout the range of this species, with only one in the north and west, two to several in the Plains states to the east coast, and many throughout the year in Florida. Caterpillars construct nests with leaves tied with silk. Pupae from the last generation of the growing season may overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly in July (northern part of its range and at higher elevations) or from April through September (southern part of its range and at lower elevations). The butterflies when at rest are found with their forewings partially open and their hindwings fully open.
Males perch to wait for receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on or in the vicinity of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.
Opler, P. A., H. Pavulaan, and R. E. Stanford. 1995. Butterflies of North America. Jamestown, North Dakota, USA: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Home Page. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm (Version 05Nov98).
Opler, P. A. and A. B.Wright. 1999. A Field Guide to the Western Butterflies. Second Edition. Peterson Field Guide Series. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, New York, USA, 540 pp.
Pyle, R. M. 1981. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, New York, USA, 924 pp.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, USA, 583 pp.
Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western U.S.A. Butterflies (Including Adjacent Parts of Canada and Mexico). Published by authors, Denver, Colorado, USA, 275 pp.