Alternate Common Name: Stonecrop Elfin.
This species occurs in patches of British Columbia south to southern California and Arizona, and east through the Intermountain West. In Idaho, it has been documented to occur in patches of the western third of the state.
It occurs in canyons, rocky slopes, and sagebrush steppe.
Caterpillars eat the leaves, flowers, and fruits of members of the stonecrop
family (Crassulaceae), including various species of Sedum,
Dudleya, and Parvisedum.
Adult: Butterflies presumably drink flower nectar, but the adult food has not been reported in the literature.
Young caterpillars feed preferentially on leaves while older caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits. There is one generation of caterpillars each summer. Each undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. The caterpillar is equipped with a honey gland, also known as a dorsal nectary organ, which emits a sugary solution agreeable to ants. The ants feed on the solution and in turn protect the caterpillar from predators. Pupae overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly from the end of February through May.
Males perch to wait for receptive females. Females lay pale bluish green eggs on the underside of the leaves of host plants. The eggs turn white before hatching.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; most populations are widespread, abundant, and secure. One subspecies in California, C. mossii bayensis, is listed as T1, which means it is critically imperiled because of extreme rarity and is imminently vulnerable to extinction.|
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