Identification: Upperside is orange with toothed brown borders. Forewing has a black stigma (male) or a black diagonal band (female). Hindwing has a large reddish patch. Underside varies from yellow to reddish to brown; hindwing varies from unmarked to having a distinct band of cream to yellow spots.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Males perch on ridges in California and in gullies in Colorado to await females. First-stage caterpillars hibernate, complete their feeding the next spring, diapause in the summer as fully-grown caterpillars, then pupate and emerge as adults in the fall.
Flight: One brood from late July-October.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various grasses including Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon), canary grass (Phalaris), wildrye (Elymus), and wheatgrass (Agropyron).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Grassy areas in chaparral, sagebrush, woodland, gardens, and small streams.
Range: Very common. British Columbia south to southern California; east to Montana, Colorado, and Arizona.
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.