silvery checkerspot

(Chlosyne nycteis)

Conservation Status
silvery checkerspot
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S4S5 - Apparently Secure to Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Silvery checkerspot 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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

1½ to 2 wingspan

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

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

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

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.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

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

 
  7/1/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common, locally abundant

 
         
 
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  
 

Genus

Chlosyne  
  Subgenus    
       
 

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
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    silvery checkerspot      
 

Kirk Nelson

 
    silvery checkerspot      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Upperside

 
    silvery checkerspot   silvery checkerspot  
           
    silvery checkerspot   silvery checkerspot  
           
    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
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
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
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Martha Rueter
6/10/2020

Location:Llindstrom, MN

   
  Alfredo Colon
10/6/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

silvery checkerspot  
  Kirk Nelson
6/18/2016

Location: Wild River State Park

silvery checkerspot  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.