Chlosyne harrisii (Scudder, 1863)
NatureServe Global Rank: G4
Virginia State Rank: S1
VA DGIF Tier: None
Federal Legal Status: None
Virginia Legal Status: None
Description: Harris' Checkerspot is a small-medium species that is similar to a few others. The dorsal side is mainly orange and black, with the black prevalent towards the base and outer edges of the wings. The ventral side shows a variety of black, cream-white and orange markings in a checkered pattern.
Similar species: The dorsal side is similar to a number of Crescents (Phyciodes) and Checkerspots (Chlosyne) but can be separated from all the above based upon the ventral markings. Oddly enough, ventrally is more similar to the Baltimore Checkerspot, although still easy to separate based on the larger infusion of orange, especially on the ventral front wing. The dorsal Harris' Checkerspot differs from the dorsal Baltimore Checkerspot, notably due to the larger amount of orange in its coloring.
North American Range: Canada south to New Jersey and Ohio, with an isolated population in Virginia and West Virginia.
VA Observations by Locality: Highland
Flight season and broods: Harris' Checkerspot is single brooded, from June through July.
Habitat and Food Plants: Harris' Checkerspot lives mostly in moist areas, like bogs, marshes, wet fields, and meadows. It feeds on the Flat-topped Aster (Aster unbellatus).
Behavior and Ecology: Harris' Checkerspot flies low and perches often as they maintain territory or emigrate away from larger populations. They may seek nutrients at moist soil or various flowers including Asters and Dandelions. Populations seem to come and go as host plants are used up and then replenished. The flight is slow and typical of similar species.
Population trend and potential threats: The destruction of the wetlands where this species occurs can threaten its existence, especially at the periphery of its range.
Management practices: Maintaining and conserving the wetland habitats of Harris' Checkerspot seems prudent.
References: Allen, T. J. 1997. The Butterflies of West Virginia and their Caterpillars. University of Pittsburg Press. 388pp.
Cech, R. and G. Tudor. 2005. Butterflies of the East Coast. Pg. 250. Princeton University Press.
Opler, P. A. 1992. A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies. Peterson Field Guides
Pyle, R. M. 1981. Field Guide to North American Butterflies. National Audubon Society.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Natural Heritage Program, 600 E. Main St., 24th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219
This atlas was compiled
by the VA Natural Heritage Program with funds provided by the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries through a state wildlife grant
from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Last Modified: Tuesday, 24 January 2017, 10:12:03 PM