A Cooperative Chalcedon Checkerspot

//A Cooperative Chalcedon Checkerspot

A Cooperative Chalcedon Checkerspot

I’ve only hiked Gwin Canyon in the East Bay one time. That’s because on my way down, like a knucklehead, I was so enamored with the scene — the aromas of fennel, the calls of wild turkeys (or were they peacocks? I could swear) — the butterflies and bumble bees swarming wildflowers — that I neglected to log just how far down I’d descended into the canyon. It was supposed to be a casual stroll on a path I’d found after accidentally reaching a dead end road. It turned into an unnecessarily sweaty slog.

At least I managed this capture of a Chalcedon checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona), the best Chalcedona checkerspot photo I’ve ever taken. Well, I’ve only taken one. This one. And it was only through a few fortunate strokes of a Google search that I positively identified my friend.

Chalcedon Checkerspot - © Ingrid Taylar

Chalcedon Checkerspot - ©ingrid

This page suggests numerous color variations, shows the butterfly’s distribution, and lists its favorite food as “flower nectar.”

This particular checkerspot endured as much of a photo op as it could before taking the first breeze up and out.

By | 2009-04-22T00:44:02+00:00 April 22nd, 2009|Blog, Bug Nation, California|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Ellen Finch January 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Nice. I’ve done some hiking on Coyote Ridge in San Jose, which is supposedly now the only place where the bay checkerspot population is holding on (thousands of its larvae were transplanted to Edgewood every couple of years recently, but it’s not clear that hte population there is self-sustaining). So I’ve been lucky enough to get several photos that the docents have identified as Bay Checkerspots–and yet there has been some uncertainty in those identifications, so I’ve been sitting here for half an hour trying to find some site that will tell me the difference between it and the other checkerspots. Which took me to your page where you note that an expert told you that it wasn’t a bay checkerspot but didn’t say why, which then took me here, and I like this shot. Anyway, I’m still searching for a comparison in text or photos; you’d think there’d be plenty, but noooo! Here’s one of mine IDed by docents as Bay chkspt: http://elf1.smugmug.com/Nature/CoyoteRidgeWIldflowers12-04-15/i-vdkxrRR/A I have more from the following year that I apparently haven’t posted anywhere. If you’re interested in trying to see some (if it ever rains again so the wildflowers come up), you might want to sign up for the Open Space Appreciation Hiking Enthusiasts meetup group, because they often post Coyote Ridge hikes, which happen only a few times a year with docents, and there’s no other way to get into that area. http://www.meetup.com/OSA-Hiking-Enthusiasts/

Comments are closed.