|scientific name Oeneis chryxus |
common name Chryxus Arctic
Open pine woods and dry montane and subalpine meadows.
One flight per year, peaking in mid June to late July.
Upperside golden rust-brown with 2 - 4 (usually 3) forewing eyespots, hindwing generally with one eyespot. Male with a dark discal forewing patch. Underside striated brown-black and white, median band loose and poorly defined. In Alberta, only O. macounii is similar, but male chryxus have a dark forewing discal patch and are slightly smaller. Female chryxus have at least three rather than two equal-sized forewing eyespots.
Subspecies chryxus (named from Rock Lake near Jasper) inhabits the mountain region, while subspecies caryi (named from the Slave River region, see Kondla 1995) occurs in open Jack Pine woods of the boreal region.
The life cycle takes two years to complete in at least some regions (Scott 1986). Females lay eggs on various substrates near the host plants. Males perch along gullies or banks in mountain meadows, or branches and logs in the boreal region (Guppy & Shepard 2001). Some boreal Manitoba populations fly only in odd-numbered years (Klassen et al. 1989, Layberry et al. 1998).
Few Alberta localties of subspecies caryi are known, more field surveys are needed to determine the distribution and conservation status in the province.
Not of concern (ssp. chryxus) and status undetermined (ssp. caryi).
The larval hosts in Alberta are not known. In eastern Canada they include grasses such as Danthonia spicata (Layberry et al 1998), Oryzopis pungens and Phalaris arundinacea (Klassen et al. 1989).
Alaska to Quebec, south to the northern Great Lakes region and in the mountains to New Mexico and California (Layberry et al. 1998, Scott 1986).
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