Identification: Upperside is orange with black markings; hindwing with submarginal row of solid black spots. Underside of hindwing has a zigzag pattern of brown and white bands and a median band of white chevrons.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.5 cm).
Life History: Males perch or patrol to find females. Females lay eggs in clusters on underside of host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves; young caterpillars feed in groups. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: One brood in the north from July-August, two broods in the central part of the range from May-September, three broods in the south from April-September.
Caterpillar Hosts: Several plants in the Asteraceae including sunflower (Helianthus) and crosswort (Lysimachia) species.
Adult Food: Nectar, especially from yellow flowers.
Habitat: Open areas including ridges, prairies, streamsides, open hardwood forests, old fields, forest edges.
Range: Alberta east to southwest Manitoba and southern Ontario; south through the Great Plains to central New Mexico, central Texas, Louisiana, and central Georgia. Isolated populations in the Appalachians and the east slope of the Rocky Mountains.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.