Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

  Sighting 1328992

Zerene Fritillary
Speyeria zerene

Observation date: June 19, 2022
Date notes: Observed two individuals on June 19 and two again on June 21 at a very nearby location.
Submitted by: asabspade
Specimen type: Photograph
Observation notes: I recently observed greenish blues in Point Arena and wanted to check out another site I knew had Hosackia gracilis and H. obliginfolia, as well as a number of good nectar plants: Cirsium douglasii, Helenium bigelovii, and Wyethia angustifolia. I went to the site on Jun 19, 2022 and the weather was very windy but relatively warm. I was surprised to see two Speyeria butterflies at the site. I presumed they were Speyeria zerene ssp. behrensii based on the nearness of the location to a known population but the early flying date made me wonder if some other Speyeria sp. was possible. I returned to the site on June 21 and was able to get some decent photos of one individual. I was also a bit surprised to see that it preferred to nectar on Oenanthe sarmentosa despite the presence of the other plants mentioned. The USFWS Behren's survey protocol lists the peak flight period for Speyeria zerene ssp. behrensii as between August 5 and August 25.
Status: Resident
Verified by: Ken Davenport
Verified date: June 22, 2022
Coordinator notes: This does appear to be a zerene but I can't confirm which subspecies, a contentious issue when an "endangered" species was split into 3 different subspecies in 1998. I have no personal experience with any of the 3 subspecies. The one actually listed is now believed extinct but the other two may be validly protected. I don't know how Fish and Wildlife has dealt with this issue. Similar issues may exist with Edith's Checkerspot subspecies. Some may have far more extended ranges than previously thought, based on new distribution data or genomic studies finds-Ken Davenport
Checklist region(s): United States, California, Mendocino County