This species ranges from parts of Alaska and western Canada south through California, through the Pacific Northwest east to the Dakotas, and through the Rocky Mountain and southwestern states. It occurs throughout Idaho.
It occupies a variety of open habitats, including tundra, open forests, chaparral, sagebrush steppe, and desert.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves, flowers, and bracts of a number of host plants
representing several families, including the honeysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae)
and the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). Species include snowberry (Symphoricarpos
spp.), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), and beardtongue (Penstemon
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
Caterpillars build nests of white silk in which they feed together. There is only one new generation of caterpillars each year in most of the range, but there may be several in the southwest. Caterpillars overwinter in leaf litter or under rocks in a physiological state called diapause. Those at high elevations may remain in diapause for several years. Adults generally fly from June to August through much of its range.
Males actively patrol in search of receptive females. Females lay yellow eggs in clusters on the underside of host plant leaves. The eggs turn reddish brown before hatching.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
G5; 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.