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Identification: Upperside is black with white median bands on both wings; tip of forewing is orange-brown. Underside is reddish-brown with white markings.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 5/8 inches (5.1 - 6.7 cm).
Life History: Males perch in valley bottoms all day to watch for females. Eggs are laid on the upperside of host plant leaf tips. Caterpillars feed on leaves and partially-grown caterpillars overwinter in rolled leaf shelters.
Flight: April-October. Several flights in California, probably one flight in the northern part of its range.
Caterpillar Hosts: Wild cherry (Prunus), willows (Salix), poplar and cottonwood (Populus), and orchard trees.
Adult Food: Flower nectar from plants including California buckeye, yerba santa, and privet; bird droppings; and dung.
Habitat: Forest edges, mountain canyons, orchards, parks, streamsides, fencerows and groves of cottonwood and poplar.
Range: British Columbia south to southern California and Baja California, east to western Montana and Idaho.
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.
We want to express our gratitude to all who showed their support by making a contribution this year. You can donate to support this project at any time.