Attributes of Nymphalis californica

California Tortoiseshell
Nymphalis californica (Boisduval, 1852)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside is orange-brown with large black spots and dark wing borders. Underside looks like a dead leaf and is dark mottled brown with darker wing bases; hindwing does not have a centered silver spot.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 2 3/4 inches (3.2 - 7 cm).
Life History: Males perch in the late afternoon to look for females. Eggs are laid in bunches on the host plant; caterpillars eat leaves and feed together when young. Adults hibernate.
Flight: One brood overwinter. They fly the following spring until April or May, mating and laying eggs for the next brood.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various species of wild lilac (Ceanothus).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Chaparral, woodland, brush areas, forest clearings and edges.
Range: British Columbia south along the Pacific Coast to Baja California Norte, east to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Rare migrants to Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Vermont after periodic population explosions in Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Nymphalis californica

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Nymphalis californica - n_califo.jpg

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The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
1. All records (yellow dots)   2. Recently verified records (orange dots)*   3. US county records (purple)

There are also three base layers: 1. Satellite    2. Normal   3. Hybrid

How to use the map:
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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

See more recently verified sightings of all species.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
February 24, 2014 Robert Gorman Orange County, California, United States February 25, 2014 Details
July 30, 2011 sandyleapt Wasco County, Oregon, United States November 02, 2013 Details
April 21, 2013 davidelwonger@msn.com Fremont County, Colorado, United States July 28, 2013 Details
June 11, 1986 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Esmeralda County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
June 13, 1987 legacy.reporter (Michael Smith) Clark County, Nevada, United States December 01, 2012 Details
June 20, 1987 legacy.reporter (Jim Brock) Cochise County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
April 14, 1989 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Graham County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
July 04, 1984 Ken Davenport (Ken Davenport) Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
July 05, 1984 Ken Davenport (Ken Davenport) Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
November 05, 2006 John Saba (John Saba) Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
February 04, 2006 legacy.reporter (Robert Garriock) Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
April 12, 2003 legacy.reporter (Ray & Kit Stanford) Pinal County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 11, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 15, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 19, 2005 legacy.reporter (Bob Barber) Yuma County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 20, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) La Paz County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
October 29, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Maricopa County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
November 10, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Coconino County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
November 30, 2005 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States December 01, 2012 Details
June 30, 2012 joeschelling Bernalillo County, New Mexico, United States July 05, 2012 Details
October 13, 2006 Bob Bouman Idaho County, Idaho, United States June 27, 2012 Details
May 27, 2012 mudgrub12 Placer County, California, United States May 30, 2012 Details
June 20, 2012 Ken Davenport (Ken Davenport) Kern County, California, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 26, 2012 Ken Davenport (Ken Davenport) Mono County, California, United States January 01, 2012 Details
July 15, 1977 legacy.reporter (R. Eielgus) Coconino County, Arizona, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 22, 1978 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
July 02, 1978 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 05, 1979 legacy.reporter (C. S. Lawson) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 12, 1966 legacy.reporter (George T. Austin) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
July 10, 1975 legacy.reporter (unknown) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
July 31, 1962 legacy.reporter (J. F. Lesser) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 30, 1950 legacy.reporter (Floyd Preston) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 23, 1961 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 29, 1963 legacy.reporter (Kilian Roever) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
August 10, 1963 legacy.reporter (John F. Emmel) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
August 12, 1963 legacy.reporter (John F. Emmel) Clark County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
April 25, 2010 legacy.reporter (Alex Grkovich) Washoe County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
April 26, 2010 legacy.reporter (Alex Grkovich) Washoe County, Nevada, United States January 01, 2012 Details
June 09, 2011 buzzworm Mohave County, Arizona, United States June 10, 2011 Details
July 19, 1986 legacy.reporter (unknown) Modoc County, California, United States May 01, 2011 Details
April 27, 1996 legacy.reporter (Reinoehl, Jack) Chippewa County, Michigan, United States May 01, 2011 Details
July 04, 1997 Ken Davenport (Ken Davenport) Clark County, Nevada, United States May 01, 2011 Details
August 08, 2006 Norbert Kondla British Columbia, Canada February 15, 2011 Details
June 11, 2006 Norbert Kondla Kern County, California, United States February 15, 2011 Details
April 05, 2009 plex1ppus (plex1ppus) Spokane County, Washington, United States February 14, 2011 Details
April 04, 2006 stevecary (Bob Barber) Otero County, New Mexico, United States February 04, 2011 Details
May 22, 1969 legacy.reporter (R. Garrison) Coconino County, Arizona, United States January 01, 2011 Details
May 31, 1969 legacy.reporter (R. Garrison) Gila County, Arizona, United States January 01, 2011 Details
June 28, 1970 legacy.reporter (R. W. Garrison) Greenlee County, Arizona, United States January 01, 2011 Details
June 28, 1970 legacy.reporter (R. W. Garrison) Greenlee County, Arizona, United States January 01, 2011 Details