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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Theona Checkerspot
Chlosyne theona  MÉNÉTRIÉS, 1855
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - NYMPHALINAE
Tribe - MELITAEINI
Chlosyne theona, Arizona, USA © Tony Hoare
Introduction
The genus Chlosyne comprises of about 26 species, and is largely Central American in distribution, although there are several species which are found only in North America.
Most of the species have a black ground colour, and are marked with bands or patches of cream and reddish-orange, often in conjunction with a series of white spots in the post-median area of fore and hind wings. The legs of most species are orange. In all species the antennae are fairly short, straight, and end in a flattened club.
Chlosyne theona is distributed from Texas to Colombia.
Habitats
This species breeds in meadows, open deciduous woodland, and in open scrubby desert, often in the vicinity of streams.
Lifecycle
The eggs are pale green. They are laid in large batches on the underside of leaves of the foodplant.
When fully grown the caterpillars are black with white markings, and adorned with black spines. In the early instars they live gregariously, but gradually become independent as they develop. They feed on the flowers and leaves of desert foxglove Brachystigma, Leucophyllum ( Scrophulariaceae )
and Indian paintbrush Castilleja ( Orobanchaceae ). The chrysalis is creamy-white with black dorsal and lateral stripes that are interrupted by a series of orange spots. The wing pads are marked with short black streaks. It is formed on the foodplant, suspended by the cremaster beneath leaves.
Adult behaviour
Both sexes commonly nectar at a wide range of herbaceous plants, but strongly favour Asteraceae. They tend tend to fan their wings slowly while they feed.
 

 

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