May Butterflies (and a moth)

Just a few images of common California leps, taken along the coast range near Santa Cruz a few weeks ago.  Starting to work my way through some photo backlog…

Grinter Euphydryas chalcedona

Euphydryas chalcedona

Grinter Plebejus acmon

Plebejus acmon

Grinter Plebejus acmon

Plebejus acmon

Grinter Ethmia arctostaphylella

Ethmia arctostaphylella on Eriodictyon sp.

One interesting note on Ethmia arctostaphylella – the name is a misnomer, it does not actually feed on Arctostaphylos (Manzanita).  At the time of description in 1880 Walsingham had found larvae pupating on leaves of manzinata and assumed it was their host plant.  In Jerry Powell’s stunning monograph of the group he indicates this moth was reared from Eriodictyon – which happens to be the flower the moth is perched on.  The two plants grow side by side, and it’s pretty easy to see how a wandering caterpillar finds its way onto a neighbor.

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