A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Landed on grandpa's finger, while hiking the Devil's Thumb Trail in Colorado. Small with short hindwing projections. Forewing above is brownish-orange with dark spots; one dark spot at center of bottom edge. Hindwing above has two patterns: summer form is mostly black, winter form is orange with black spots; both have a dark border containing pale spots. Underside is brown; hindwing with a central silver or white comma which is swollen at both ends. Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.4 cm).
Habitat: Deciduous woodlands; woods near rivers, marshes, swamps, and other water sources. Flight: Overwintered adults fly and lay eggs in the spring until the end of April. The summer form emerges and flies from May-September, laying eggs that develop into the winter form. These adults appear in September or October and soon seek shelter in which to overwinter. Caterpillar Hosts: All members of the elm and nettle families including American elm (Ulmus americana), hops (Humulus), nettle (Urtica), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), and wood nettle (Laportea canadensis). Adult Food: Rotting fruit and tree sap.
Range: Eastern half of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains from southern Canada to central Texas and the Gulf Coast. Conservation: Not usually required. NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery. Management Needs: None reported.