Status:    rare to abundant winter resident/late spring migrant

Flights:  Oct?-Jun; adult overwinters, mates Mar-Apr; offspring migrate out-of-county north/east in May-Jun; 2nd brood offspring return in fall to overwinter


Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  widespread mid-county, esp. during migration


Habitats:  open brushy areas (chaparral), open woods, ridgetops (males)

Host plants:  ceanothus spp., other plants during outbreaks

Adult foodflower nectar, dung


Conservation: secure globally


Remarks: 

  1.   flies in winter on warm days

  2.   pop. outbreaks some years, other years scarce

  3.   outbreaks may be due to overcrowding, or to search for foods low in tannin

  4.   adults live from summer (June) to following spring, when mating occurs

  5.   wing margins less jagged than commas

 
 

California tortoiseshell Nymphalis californica

Life history facts


egg: laid in bunches on host plant

larva: eats leaves, feeds together when young

pupa:

adult:  hibernates; males perch in late afternoon to look for females

salt lick?