Oeneis jutta
Jutta Arctic

Family Description:
Alternate Common Name: Forest Arctic.
Caterpillar: The caterpillar is greenish, covered with red hairs, and striped lengthwise with green, brown and white stripes. The head is reddish brown, or greenish and dotted with brown.
Adult: The butterfly has a wingspan of about two inches, and is variable in appearance. The upperside is grayish to olive brown, with lighter colored veins. Both the fore- and hindwings are marked with several dark eyespots; the spots are either ringed with, or lie in a wide band of, hazy yellowish orange. Males have a stigma (region of scent scales used in attracting females) which appears as an area of dark shading near the center of the forewing. Underneath, the forewing is grayish brown and marked with eyespots; the hindwing is mottled with gray, brown, and black, and may have an irregular, wide band of color across the center of the wing.

This species is holarctic, which means it occurs in the northern temperate regions of the entire Northern Hemisphere. Specifically in North America, it occurs in Alaska, through most of Canada, and in the Rocky Mountains, the northern portions of the Great Lakes states, and Maine. In Idaho, it has been documented to occur in Lemhi, Clark, and Madison Counties.

It occurs in wet spruce-sphagnum bogs and tundra, and in grassy lodgepole-pine forests.


Caterpillar: Caterpillars feed on the leaves of sedges such as cotton grass (Eriophorum spissum).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.

There is one new generation of caterpillars each summer in most locations. Young caterpillars overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. They emerge in spring to feed and molt, then enter diapause again for a second winter, this time as grown or nearly grown caterpillars. The process can be synchronized in certain populations, resulting in the appearance of adults only every other year in some locations. Adults generally fly from the end of June to August.

Males perch and occasionally patrol for receptive females. Females lay eggs near their host plants.

Idaho Status: Unprotected nongame species.
Global Rank: G5
populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.

Ferris, C. D. and F. M. Brown. (eds.) 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Univ. of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma, USA, 442 pp.

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.