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Sagebrush Checkerspot Butterfly

Scientific Name:

Chlosyne acastus

Type:

Insect

Habitat:

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

Range:

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

Status:

Least Concern

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

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.

Sources:

1 “Sagebrush Checkerspot Chlosyne Acastus (W.H. Edwards, 1874) | Butterflies and Moths of North America.” Www.butterfliesandmoths.org, 2024, www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Chlosyne-acastus.


2 Webmaster, David Ratz. “Sagebrush Checkerspot - Montana Field Guide.” Fieldguide.mt.gov, 2015, fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=IILEPJ9170.


3 “NatureServe Explorer 2.0.” Explorer.natureserve.org, explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.108207/Chlosyne_acastus.


4 Dhir, Bugman, Piyushi. “Checkerspot Butterfly: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell.” What’s That Bug?, 4 Sept. 2023, www.whatsthatbug.com/checkerspot-butterfly-all-you-need-to-know-in-a-nutshell/.

Contributor(s):

Katie Quinlivan (research & content)

Dayna Genio (web edits)

Last Updated:

June 21, 2024 at 4:34:47 PM

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