Identification: Upperside tawny to bright red-brown with dark, evenly-spaced markings. Underside has triangular silver submarginal spots with narrow brown edging; other spots large and usually silvered.
Wing Span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (5 - 6.4 cm).
Life History: Males perch and patrol for females. Eggs are laid singly in litter near violets. Unfed first-stage caterpillars hibernate until spring, when they feed on violet leaves.
Flight: One brood from May-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Violets including Viola purpurea, V. pedunculata, V. beckwithii, V. douglasii, and V. nuttallii.
Habitat: Sagebrush, chaparral, dry woodland, prairie hills.
Range: Central British Columbia east to South Dakota and Manitoba, south to southern California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.
Conservation: Subspecies callippe in California's San Francisco Bay Area is threatened with extinction. Speyeria callippe callippe has The Nature Conservancy rank of T1 - Critically imperiled because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences, or very few remaining individuals), or because of some factor of its biology making it especially vulnerable to extinction. (Critically endangered throughout its range).
Management Needs: Protect and manage populations of subspecies callippe.