Status:  common resident

Flights:  1, Mar-Jul

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  widespread in foothills and mountains, except SE county; Old Stage Rd., Arroyo Seco, Chew’s Ridge, Fremont Pk., Chalone Pks., Big Creek Reserve, Robinson Cyn. Rd., Fort Ord

Habitats:  open areas - oak woods, coastal scrub, streamcourses, sagebrush flats and hills

Host plants: scrophs: bee plant, pentstemon, paintbrush, monkey flower

Adult food: nectars at CA buckeye, Monardella, yerba santa; also puddles

Conservation: secure globally, some ssp. may be rare


  1.   anicia, colon, chalcedon once considered separate spp. grade into each other N-S, but anicia and colon occur in areas w/o intergrades

  2.   quite tame, may be picked from flowers by hand

  3.   our race common checkerspot (E. chalcedona)

  4.   white spotting on abdomen; pacific race black w/yellow spots, red marginal spots, luminous yellow antennal clubs


Variable checkerspot Euphydryas chalcedona

Life history facts

egg: laid in large groups on underside of host plant leaves

larva: feeds together on leaves, flowers, or bracts in a silk nest; 3rd and 4th stages hibernate under rocks, in litter; in high elevations, can hibernate for years


adult:  hilltop or perch in cyn bottoms all day to locate fem.

Los padres dam