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Sagebrush Checkerspot Butterfly

Scientific Name:

Chlosyne acastus




These butterflies are found in drier habitats, ranging from sagebrush steppe and sagebrush-juniper woodlands, to oak and pinyon juniper woodlands.


Range extends from Eastern North Dakota west towards Eastern Washington, south to New Mexico, Southern Arizona, and Eastern California.


Least Concern

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Upperside of wing shows a brown, black and orange checkered pattern, with a light band across the hindwings. The underside of the hindwings is often very light, with larger, white spots.

Fast Facts:

  • Despite the name, the host plants of the Sagebrush Checkerspot caterpillars are Rabbitbrush and Desert Aster. Caterpillars will eat the leaves and flowers of the plant.

  • Some caterpillars hibernate under rocks, and some diapause, meaning they are able to remain in the caterpillar stage, for months or years, to survive bad weather.

  • Adult butterflies typically have a lifespan of ~30 days.

  • This species belongs to the Nymphalidae family, which is also known as brushfooted butterflies. There are multiple subspecies of Checkerspot butterflies, found across the United States.


1 “Sagebrush Checkerspot Chlosyne Acastus (W.H. Edwards, 1874) | Butterflies and Moths of North America.”, 2024,

2 Webmaster, David Ratz. “Sagebrush Checkerspot - Montana Field Guide.”, 2015,

3 “NatureServe Explorer 2.0.”,

4 Dhir, Bugman, Piyushi. “Checkerspot Butterfly: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell.” What’s That Bug?, 4 Sept. 2023,


Katie Quinlivan (research & content)

Dayna Genio (web edits)

Last Updated:

June 21, 2024 at 4:34:47 PM

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