Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Theona Checkerspot
Chlosyne theona (Ménétriés, 1855)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Upperside with dark checkered pattern. Black median stripe separates inner yellow-orange band and outer orange band. Underside of hindwing has alternating bands of orange and cream spots, all outlined in black.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 1 3/4 inches (3.2 - 4.4 cm).
Life History: Males patrol and sometimes perch to find females. Eggs are laid in groups on the host plant; caterpillars feed on the leaves. Third- or fourth-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: Several flights from April-October in the Southwest, throughout the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar Hosts: Ceniza blanca (Leucophyllum texanum and L. frutescens) in Texas, paintbrush (Castilleja species) in Arizona.
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Desert foothills and canyons, subtropical scrub, limestone ridges, open oak or pinyon woodlands.
Range: Colombia north through Central America and Mexico to east-central Texas, southern New Mexico, and central Arizona.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported. Note: Subspecies chinatiensis, the Chinati Checkerspot, is considered a separate species by some, but it blends completely to more typical theona.