This is a butterfly of the Pacific Northwest primarily. It ranges from central British Columbia and southern Alberta south through Washington, Oregon, northern Idaho, and western Montana, and further south in California.
It tends to be in moist and open areas, such as meadows, marshes, mixed forests, and along streams.
Caterpillars eat the leaves of various species of violets (Viola spp.).
Adult: Butterflies feed on flower nectar and are known to visit flowers of buck brush (Ceanothus velutinus) and members of the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
There is one generation of caterpillars each summer. Caterpillars overwinter in a physiological state called diapause during the winter, and emerge in spring to feed until they are ready to pupate. Adults generally fly from April to early August.
Males actively patrol for receptive females. The locations chosen by females to lay eggs have not been reported.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
G5; most populations are widespread, abundant, and secure. However, certain populations in the Santa Cruz mountains of California are dwindling.
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.