This species is found throughout the southern half of Canada and the entire continental U.S., except for parts of the southwest and Texas. It occurs commonly throughout Idaho.
It is found in open, grassy areas such as fields, meadows, prairies, and open woodlands.
Caterpillars eat the leaves of various grasses (Poaceae), such as purpletop
Adult: Butterflies use flower nectar, often from alfalfa (Medicago spp.) and spiraea (Spiraea spp.). They are also known to use rotting fruit and tree sap for food.
There is generally one generation of caterpillars each year, with possibly two or more in the southern part of its range. The caterpillars hatch close to the end of the growing season and do not feed; instead, they enter a physiological state called diapause and overwinter until spring. Upon emergence, they feed, molt, and eventually pupate. Adults generally fly from late May to mid-September.
Males actively patrol in search of receptive females. Females lay off-white, barrel-shaped eggs typically on the leaves of host plants.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
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.