Status:    uncommon local resident

Flights:  1 brood, May-June

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  foothills and mountains; Big Creek reserve, Arroyo Seco, Chalone Pks., Chew’s Ridge

Habitats:  hillsides with paintbrush in oak woodland, chaparral, juniper woodland

Host plants:  Indian paintbrush

Adult foodnectars at yellow composites, Monardella

Conservation: secure globally, but some pops. in CA may have declined due to invasion of exotic grasses


  1.   pops. erratic

  2.   often flies around rocky hills, outcrops

  3.   orange palps; above variable, below median black band with row of white spots

  4.   may be a mimic of variable checkerspot


Leanira checkerspot Thessalia leanira

Life history facts

egg: laid in bunches on underside of lower leaves of host

larva: eats leaves and flowers, young live together in loose web; 3rd stage hibernates


adult:  males perch, sometimes patrol on hilltops/ridges for females

nectaring on yarrow, Indians Rd.