Silvery Checkerspot

Interruptions are always welcome when I’m working in the yard or gardens. This morning’s interruption was 3 newly-emerged silvery checkerspot butterflies. Their 2 caterpillar host plants grow in my yard.

Silvery checkerspot butterfly on white-lace orlaya

Silvery checkerspots have 2 broods. The spring brood  flies from the middle of May though June in southern Illinois, and the fall brood flies late July through September. The spring brood lays their eggs on winged crownbeard (Verbenesina helianthoides) and wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia). The fall brood lays theirs on wingstem, because the winged crownbeard isn’t to appetizing that late. Winged crownbeard grows to 3 feet tall and wingstem to 5 feet and more. Both are perennials.

Silvery checkerspots  butterflies have 1 1/4 – 2 inch wingspan, and they overwinter as caterpillars.

Winged crownbeard

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Therese on May 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I’m truly amazed by your knowledge of nature. You are my hero!!!


    • I’m lacking in muscles. Remember I wrote those weekly articles for 10 years. Boy, did I have amazing experiences. Much more fun than learning out of a book only.


  2. That’s one good looking butterfly. Hope to see one myself.


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