Variable Checkerspot

Euphydryas chalcedona

North american ecology (us and canada) 3

Euphydryas chalcedona is resident of the western United States and Canada, From Alaska to southern Calif., and east to Colorado (Scott 1986). Habitats are upper Sonoran to alpine zone desert hills, chaparral, open forest and alpine tundra. Host plants are herbs and shrubs with hosts including species from many families, including Scrophulariaceae, Valerianaceae, Orobanchaceae, Planaginaceae, Caprifoliaceae, and occasionally Boraginaceae, Labiatae, Rosaceae and Loganiaceae. Eggs are laid on the host plant in large clusters. Individuals overwinter as third and fourth instar larvae in litter or under rocks, and can hibernate for several years. There is one flight each year with the approximate flight time April 1- April 30 in the southern part of the range and late June ? July 15 in the far north. In western Arizona there are several flights from April 1-Oct. 31 (Scott 1986).

Taxonomy 4

Comments: Opler and Warren (2002, 2004) tentatively consider anicia to be a separate species from chalcedona following Ferris (1989), Guppy and Shepard (2001) and Pyle (2002). However, they state that further elaboration on the relationship between the two taxa is needed. Opler and Warren (2002, 2004) tentatively consider colon to be conspecific with chalcedona, but state that much additional research is needed. Guppy and Shepard (2001), Pyle (2002), and Warren, (2005) also treat colon and chalcedona as conspecific at this time, while other authors (Austin et al. 2003; Pelham 2008) treat them as separate species. A study by Zimmerman et al. (2000) did not resolve relationships among these taxa. Here we follow Pelham (2008), who treat E. colon as a species-level taxon, separate from E. chalcedona.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Patrick Dockens, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND),
  2. (c) Mathesont, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  3. (c) Leslie Ries, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  4. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),

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Animal Insect
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