This species ranges from central British Columbia and Alberta south through the western half of the U.S. to southern California and northern Arizona and New Mexico. It ranges east as far as the western edge of the Dakotas and Nebraska and central Colorado. In Idaho, it occurs throughout most of the state.
It utilizes almost every type of habitat except within forests.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves, buds, and flowers of a variety of plant species,
primarily from the parsley family (Apiaceae) and several from the citrus family
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
There are two generations of caterpillars each year in most of the range. There may be only one generation in higher elevations and there are many each year in California. Younger caterpillars feed on leaves and switch to flowers when older. They may cause damage to citrus groves in California. Pupae present when temperatures drop will overwinter in a physiological state called diapause, and can remain in diapause for several seasons. Adults generally fly from April through July inmost of its range.
Males both perch and actively patrol in search of receptive females. Courting males and females will often congregate at high points in the landscape in order to find potential mates. This behavior is called "hill topping." Females lay eggs on the leaves and flowers of host plants.
|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.