|scientific name Euphydryas editha |
common name Edith's Checkerspot
In AB, this species is found along rocky alpine ridges; also montane meadows of the Cypress Hills.
Adults fly from June to August, peaking in July.
The colour pattern is variable in this species. The upperside is black with orange and pale yellow or white bands. The submarginal band consists of small yellow or white spots and the postmedian band is wide and orange. Ventral hindwing has alternating bands of yellow-orange and cream. It is smaller (wingspan 32-51 mm), darker on the ventral surface, and has more rounded forewing tips than the similar species: Anicia Checkerspot (E. anicia).
Subspecies beani, named after Thomas Bean of Lake Louise, occurs in the mountains. The Cypress Hills population is of uncertain taxonomic affinity, but has been referred to as E. editha near subspecies hutchinsi (Bird et al 1995).
The eggs are yellow (Guppy & Shepard, 2001).
Mature larvae are black and white with orange lateral lines at the base of bristles (Layberry et al., 1998; Guppy & Shepard, 2001).
The pupae are not described.
Edith's Checkerspot is univoltine and overwinters as larvae (Bird et al., 1995; Opler et al., 1995). Larvae eat leaves and flowers and live in loose silk webs; sometimes using different host plants before and after overwintering. Males perch or patrol all day to find females. However, adults tend to be poor dispersers (Britten et al., 1995). Eggs are laid in groups on underside of leaves or on flowers of the host plant (Opler et al. 1995).
Uncommon in Alberta; provincial rank S4 and "Secure" status.
Unknown for Alberta. In the Pacific Northwest, larvae have been observed feeding on various species of plants in the Scrophulariaceae including paintbrush (Castilleja spp.), beardtongues (Penstemon spp.), lousewort (Pedicularis spp.), owl's clover (Orthocarpus spp.), Chinese Houses (Collinsia spp.), and plantain (Plantago spp.) (Bird et al., 1995; Opler et al., 1995; Layberry et al., 1998; Shepard, 2000). Adults nectar on flowers (Opler et al., 1995).
In Canada, it is found in southern British Columbia and the Alberta Rockies, with a disjunct population in the Cypress Hills of Alberta/Saskatchewan (Layberry et al., 1998). Its range extends south to Baja California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado (Opler et al., 1995).
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