Carterocephalus palaemon (Pallas, 1771)
Identification: Upperside is black with squarish orange spots. Underside of the forewing is orange with black spots; underside of hindwing is red-orange with cream spots outlined in black.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Adults rest with their wings closed, but bask with hindwings open wide and forewings open to about 45 degrees. To find receptive females, males perch on low vegetation and sometimes patrol in openings. Females lay eggs singly on leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars live and feed within nests of silked-together leaves; fully-grown caterpillars overwinter in their nests and then pupate within them in the spring.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses including purple reedgrass (Calamagrostis purpurascens) in California, and bromes (Bromus) in Europe; probably others.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including iris in California.
Habitat: Glades and openings in heavily forested woods, moist meadows, and streamsides.
Range: Central Alaska south to central California, south in the Rocky Mountains to northwest Wyoming, east across the Great Lakes states to New York and New England. Eurasia.
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.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 851 verified sightings
Observation date: Jun 15, 2018
Submitted by: Mark Salvato
Region: Jackson County, Oregon, United States
Verified by: Ken Davenport
Verified date: Oct 19, 2021
Observation date: Jun 02, 2021
Submitted by: safechrisLaurie
Region: Anoka County, Minnesota, United States
Verified by: Tom Middagh
Verified date: Aug 07, 2021
Observation date: Jun 14, 2021
Submitted by: bshettler
Region: Manitoba, Canada
Verified by: chalicerae