The species is holarctic, which means it generally can be found throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. In North America, it occurs from Alaska south to southern California, throughout the western third of the U.S., and east through all of southern Canada and the northern portion of the middle and eastern U.S. It occurs commonly in Idaho.
It can be found in any variety of open habitats, from fields and meadows to open woodlands and tundra.
Caterpillars eat the leaves of various grasses (Poaceae).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
There can be one to many generations of caterpillars each summer, with the last brood overwintering in a physiological state called diapause, typically in a mat of dead grass. Chrysalises can be found suspended from grass leaves. The timing of the flight of adults varies within its range, with most flying from May through August or September. Butterflies fly slowly and erratically. In California, butterflies may enter estivation, a sort of summer hibernation.
Males actively patrol for receptive females. Females lay yellow eggs on or near grasses (Poaceae).
|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.
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.