California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)
The California tortoiseshell belonging to the Nymphalidae family is indigenous to California as well as different parts in the United States.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Nymphalis
- Scientific Name: Nymphalis californica
Description and Identification
They are small in appearance with a black, spiny body.
The pupa is greyish-violet in color, resembling a leaf, often twitching on getting disturbed.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present
Color and Appearance: When the wings are opened the top of it is orange with large black spots. When the wings are closed it has a grayish and mottled brown appearance similar to a dead leaf. The males have hairier forelegs than females.
Average Wingspan: 3.2-7cm (1 1⁄4–2 3⁄4 inc)
Flight Pattern: Fast and irregular
Though sufficient detail is unavailable regarding their eggs, they are deposited in small clusters on the leaves’ undersides and hatched in 4 to 5 days.
|Distribution||British Colombia, Baja California Norte, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and also to New York, Michigan, Vermont and Pennsylvania, though rare.|
|Habitat||Near chapparal growth, brush areas, woodland, and clearings as well as edges of forests|
|Host Plants||Manzanita flowers|
|Adult Diet||Flower nectar|
Did You Know
- This species are known to go through population explosions, causing them to migrate to different regions.
- The raven is known to be the commonest prey of the California Tortoiseshell butterfly.