Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Chryxus Arctic
Oeneis chryxus (Doubleday, [1849])


Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Satyrinae
Identification: Upperside is cream to brownish-orange. Forewing has 1-4 small black eyespots near the outer margin; hindwing has 1-2. Male forewing has a dark patch of sex scales. Underside of hindwing has black and white striations, a wide dark median band, veins with white scales, and only 1 black spot near the lower inner margin of the wing.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/8 inches (4.5 - 5.4 cm).
Life History: Caterpillars require 2 years to complete development; hibernating as young caterpillars the first winter, and as mature ones the second winter.
Flight: One brood from late May-early June every year; may be biennial because it is more numerous in even-numbered years in the Great Lakes region.
Caterpillar Hosts: Poverty oat-grass (Danthonia spicata).
Adult Food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open grassy, rocky, and woodland areas; meadows; alpine tundra.
Range: Southern Alaska and Yukon Territory south through the western mountains to New Mexico; east across Canada to Manitoba. Isolated population in eastern Canada, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
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.
Comments: NULL