silvery checkerspot

(Chlosyne nycteis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

service temporarily unavailable

silvery checkerspot

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S4S5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common, locally abundant

Flight/Season

One brood: Late May to early September, but mostly early June to late July

Habitat

Woodland openings and edges, meadows, marshes, streamsides, roadsides.

 
Size

1½ to 2 wingspan

 

Identification

This is a medium-sized brush-foot butterfly. It has a wingspan of 1½ to 2″.

The upperside of both wings is orange with a broad black margin, a black and white fringe, and other black markings. The amount of black markings is highly variable. The basal and discal areas are sometimes mostly black with a few irregular orange spots, sometimes mostly orange with irregular black spots and jagged lines.

The upperside of the forewing has four irregular black patches: a subapical patch that merges with the black border; a submarginal patch near the inner margin that merges with the black border; a median patch on the leading (costal) margin; and a median patch on the inner margin. The median area in the first two cells is tawny or pale orange. In the discal area there are 5 or 6 irregular black-bordered orange spots toward the costal margin and one elongated black-bordered orange spot toward the inner margin. The subapical area has a row of 5 tawny or pale orange spots. The three nearest the apex are very small.

The upperside of the hindwing no spots or faint chevron-shaped spots within the black border. There is a jagged, uninterrupted, postmedian line and a postmedian row of black spots. The spots are surrounded by orange, they do not touch the black border. At least one spots on each hindwing has a white center. The discal area is mostly black with a few orange spots.

The underside of the wings are very distinctive and are the best identifying feature. The underside of the forewing is orange with a medial row of four black spots; a black apical area; a postmedian row of 5 pale orange or white spots; a submarginal band of black-rimmed pale orange or white crescent-shaped spots; an orange marginal band; and a thin black line on the outer margin. The underside of the hindwing is orange with many black-rimmed white or pale orange spots. There are several spots in the basal area; three bands of connected spots in the median area; a band of tiny postmedial spots; and an uninterrupted band of crescent-shaped submarginal spots. The marginal band is orange and there is a thin black line on the outer margin.

The underside of the hindwing is tawny and pale orange with brown markings. There are three distinct bands of brown-bordered white spot; a discal band, a median band, and a submarginal band. The submarginal band is interrupted with a dark patch and a large silvery crescent.

The caterpillar is up to 13 16 long and black with a dusting of numerous tiny white spots. The spots are the expanded base of the hairs (seta). On the thorax and each abdominal segment there is a short, black, branched spine (scolus) in the middorsal, subdorsal, supraspiracular, spiracular, and subspiracular regions. There is often, but not always, one broad or two narrow, yellow to orange, subspiracular stripes. The head is shiny black. Mature caterpillars are found in late May and June.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

Plants in the Asteraceae family, including coneflower (Rudbeckia), sunflower (Helianthus), aster (Symphyotrichum), and wingstem (Actinomeris alternifolia).

 
Adult Food

Flower nectar of red clover, dogbane, common milkweed, staghorn sumac, vetches, and fleabane.

 
Life Cycle

After mating in the spring the female lays rafts of up to 100 eggs on on the underside of a leaf. The young caterpillars feed and move together, skeletonizing the leaves. The third stage instar caterpillar overwinters in a “special brown skin” at the base of a host plant in a reduced metabolic state (diapause). In the spring the caterpillar resumes feeding.

 
Behavior

If disturbed, the caterpillar will curl up and fall to the ground.

Adults fly slowly and usually no more than one foot off the ground.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 7, 20, 21, 24, 29, 71.


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)

 

Suborder:

Glossata

 

Infraorder:

Neolepidoptera

 

Parvorder:

Heteroneura

 

No Rank:

Ditrysia

 

No Rank:

Obtectomera

 

Superfamily:

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])

 

Family:

Nymphalidae (brush-foots)

 

Subfamily:

Nymphalinae (true brushfoots)

 

Tribe:

Melitaeinae

 

Subtribe:

Chlosynina

 
Subordinate Taxa

silvery checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis drusius)

silvery checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis nycteis)

silvery checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron)

silvery checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis reversa)

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

silvery checkerspot


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

instar

The developmental stage of arthropods between each molt; in insects, the developmental stage of the larvae or nymph.

 

pupa

The life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. In caterpillars, the chrysalis.

 

scolus

A spiny, branched projection from a larval body wall, the branches terminating with a single stiff, hair-like or bristle-like tip.

 

seta

A usually rigid bristle- or hair-like structure on butterflies and moths used to sense touch. Plural: setae.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Kirk Nelson


  silvery checkerspot    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   

Upperside

  silvery checkerspot   silvery checkerspot
       
  silvery checkerspot   silvery checkerspot
       

Underside

  silvery checkerspot    
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Silvery Checkerspot
DianesDigitals
 
  Silvery Checkerspot  
 
About

Copyright DianesDigitals

Silvery Checkerspot - Chlosyne nycteis

 
     
  Silvery Checkerspot butterfly on Butterfly Milkweed
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Silvery Checkerspot butterfly on Butterfly Milkweed  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly Caterpillar (Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis?) Locomotion
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 13, 2012

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (12 June 2012).

 
     
  Silvery Checkerspot
rjsbirdvideos
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Nov 9, 2011

A Silvery Checkerspot nectaring on Purple Coneflower in western Howard County, Maryland. August 5, 2011

 
     
  Close-up of a Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly
SwayTheWorld
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 8, 2014

Thank you to TheGymnastic101 for correcting me here. I thought this was a Pearl Crescent, but it is actually a Silvery Checkerspot.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
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Kirk Nelson
6/18/2016

Location: Wild River State Park

silvery checkerspot


     
     
 

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