Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1224636

Melissa Arctic
Oeneis melissa

Observation date: July 20, 2019
Submitted by: Christian.Nunes
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: Several arctics flying near vegetated slopes up to about 13,000 ft on Culebra Peak, but none seen higher up on pure talus. I snapped a few photos thinking they were Melissa (based on habitat and drab colors), but upon further review they are all Chryxus.
Status: Resident
Verified by: mikefisher
Verified date: October 05, 2019
Coordinator notes: This one is Oeneis melissa Christian. The high altitude "O. chryxus" best represent Oeneis calais (listed as O. chryxus calais) but elevated to a species by J. Scott (Papilio (New Series) #12). O. chryxus is found only in even years in Colorado....the fact there are actually two species supports the occurrence of "chryxus" in odd years at high altitude where Calais is biennial also but flies in both even and odd years nearly always above 10000 ft. Mike
Checklist region(s): United States, Colorado