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Butterflies of the South Fork Kern Valley

Found in northeastern Kern County, the South Fork Kern River Valley is located between the protective reaches of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Piute Mountains. This unique region contains three of the ten floristic provinces in North America. These unique factors contribute to amazing diversity of all life forms. Fifty-two species have been documented in the South Fork Valley. The South Fork of the Kern River contains the finest, contiguous, native riparian forest in California.

 

Common Name

Scientific Name

Host Plant

SWALLOWTAILS - Family Papilionidae

Anise Swallowtail

Papilio zelicaon

carrot family

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio rutulus

cottonwood, ash, willow, alder

Whites and Sulphurs - Family Pieridae

 

 

Subfamily Pierinae 

 

Becker's White

Pontia beckerii

bladderpod, prince's plume, mustard

Checkered White

Pontia protodice

mustard

Cabbage White

Pieris rapae

cabbage, nasturtium, watercress, mustards

Sara Orange-tip

Anthocharis sara

rock cress, mustards

 

 

Subfamily Coliadinae

 

 

Orange Sulphur

Colias eurytheme

alfalfa, legumes

Gossamer-wing Butterflies - Family Lycaenidae

 

 

Subfamily Lycaeninae 

 

 

Tailed Copper

Lycaena arota

gooseberry

 

Great Copper

Lycaena xanthoides

dock

 

Purplish Copper

Lycaena helloides

dock, knotweed

 

 

Subfamily Theclinae

 

 

Great Purple Hairstreak

Atlides halesus

mistletoe

 

California Hairstreak

Satyrium californica

willows

 

Sylvan Hairstreak

Satyrium sylvinus

willows

 

Hedgerow Hairstreak

Satyrium saepium

buckbrush

 

Gray Hairstreak

Strymon melinus

legumes, mallows

 

 

Subfamily Polyommatinae 

 

 

Marine Blue

Leptotes marina

legumes

 

Western Pygmy-Blue

Brephidium exilus

saltbush, lambsquarters

 

Inyo Mountains Blue

Euphilotes bernardino

buckwheat

 

Ceraunus Blue

Hemiargus ceraunus

legumes

 

San Emigdio Blue

Plebejus emigdionis

four-wing saltbush

 

Acmon Blue

Plebejus acmon

buckwheats, legumes

Brush-footed Butterflies - Family Nymphalidae

 

 

Subfamily Nymphalinae

 

 

Field Crescent

Phyciodes pulchella

asters

 

Mylitta Crescent

Phyciodes mylitta

thistles

 

Chalcedon Checkerspot

Euphydryas chalcedona

snowberry, penstemon, paintbrush

 

Satyr Anglewing

Polygonia satyrus

nettle

 

California Tortoiseshell

Nymphalis californica

buckbrush

 

Mourning Cloak

Nymphalis antiopa

elm, cottonwood, birch, willow, hackberry

 

Milbert's Tortoiseshell

Nymphalis milberti

nettle

 

American Painted Lady

Vanessa virginiensis

Anaphalis, Antennaria, Gnaphalium

 

Painted Lady

Vanessa cardui

thistle, mallow, fiddleneck

 

West Coast Lady

Vanessa annabella

mallow

 

Red Admiral

Vanessa atalanta

nettles, Boehmeria, Parietaria

 

Common Buckeye

Junonia coenia

plantain, snapdragon, monkeyflower

 

 

Subfamily Limenitidinae

 

 

Lorquin's Admiral

Limenitis lorquini

willows, poplar, chokecherry

 

California Sister

Adelpha bredowii

oaks

 

 

Subfamily Satyrinae

 

 

California Ringlet

Coenonympha california

grass

 

 

Subfamily Danainae

 

 

Monarch

Danaus plexippus

milkweed

 

Queen

Danaus gilippus

milkweed

Skippers - Family Hesperiidae

 

 

Subfamily Pyrginae

 

 

Hammock Skipper

Polygonus leo

Jamaica dogwood, pongam

 

Propertius Duskywing

Erynnis propertius

oaks

 

Mournful Duskywing

Erynnis tristis

oaks

 

Funereal Duskywing

Erynnis funeralis

legumes

 

White Checkered-Skipper

Pyrgus albescens

mallow

 

Northern White Skipper

Heliopetes ericetorum 

mallow

 

 

Subfamily Hesperiinae 

 

 

Fiery Skipper

Hylephila phyleus

Bermuda grass

 

Alkali Skipper (Eunus Skipper)

Pseudocopaeodes eunus

saltgrass

 

Juba Skipper

Hesperia juba

grass

 

Western Branded Skipper

Hesperia comma

grass

 

Sachem (Field Skipper)

Atalopedes campestris

crab grass, Bermuda grass

 

Sandhill Skipper

Polites sabuleti

saltgrass, Bermuda grass

 

Woodland Skipper

Ochlodes sylvanoides

grass

 

Umber Skipper

 

grass

 

Eufala Skipper

Lerodea eufala

Bermuda grass, Johnson grass

Alison Sheehey prepared this information from field records of Ken Davenport, author of "Butterflies of Kern and Tulare Counties, California", Gillette Museum, Colorado State University. Photos from Alison Sheehey's collection, Phil Nordin and from pinned specimens donated to the Kern River Preserve by Ken Davenport.

REFERENCES

Davenport, K., 2007. Lepidoptera of North America: 3. Butterflies of Kern and Tulare Counties, California. C.P. Gillette Museum Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State University.

Glassberg, J., 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: the West. Oxford University Press.

Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators. 2010. Butterflies and Moths of North America. Bozeman, MT: Big Sky Institute. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ (Version 6/7/2010)

Storer, T., Usinger, R. & Lukas, D. 2004. Sierra Nevada Natural History. UC Press.

Swan, L. , Papp, C., 1972. The Common Insects of North America. Harper & Row.

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NOTE: There is no collecting, fishing, or hunting on the preserve. If you see any animal or plant on the preserve, please take only pictures and memories. Do not disturb nesting birds. Do not go off trail.

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This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.