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.
Description and Identification
They are small in appearance with a black, spiny body.
- Family: Nymphalidae
- Genus: Nymphalis
- Scientific Name: Nymphalis californica
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.