Note: This species is referred to by the genus name Charidryas by some authors.
Alternate Common Name: Great Plains Checkerspot.
Range: This species spans a large portion of the central third of North America. It ranges from southeastern Alberta across to southern Ontario, south through the Great Plains states to northeastern New Mexico and northern Texas, and occurs in patches in the Rockies, the Appalachians, and the southeastern U.S. It has been documented to occur in south central Idaho.
It occurs in open areas such as fields, prairies, forest edges, and openings.
Caterpillars feed in groups when young, often on the underside of leaves. The number of generations of caterpillars each year depends on the location, with there being only one in the north, three in the south, and two elsewhere. Young caterpillars overwinter in a physiological state called diapause, and emerge in the spring to feed, molt, and eventually pupate. In the case of multiple generations, only the last generation of caterpillars overwinters. Adults generally fly from the end of April through mid-July in the northern part of its range, flying until mid-October in the southern part of its range.
Males perch to wait for receptive females, or may actively patrol for them. Females lay groups of cream-colored eggs on the bottomsides of leaves of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
G4; population levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.
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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.
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