Tag: California patch butterfly

Bug of the Week: California Patch Butterflies Flying Through

This morning our front yard was all aflutter.

california-patch-22Many of our flowers were covered with small orange and brown butterflies. I counted at least eight at once.


I recognized that they were California patch butterflies, Chlosyne californica, which in spite of their common name occur in Arizona, too.



Looks like they might be migrating, as some of them were quite tattered.


They were fueling up on every flower they could find, particularly the rush milkweeds.

I was lucky to have seen them, because by noon they were all gone. Wonder where they are going.

Have you ever seen a butterfly migration?

Bug of the Week: California Patch Butterfly

Although it is commonly called the California patch butterfly, Chlosyne californica occurs in Arizona as well.


The larvae feed on on Parish’s goldeneye or desert sunflower, Viguiera deltoidea var. parishii.


It closely resembles some of the color variations of the bordered patch butterfly, so the two may be somewhat difficult to tell apart. Some books suggest the orange-brown marginal spots are the best way to tell.

I have to admit I’m still learning the West Coast butterflies. The best way to do it is one sighting at a time, like this one.

Do you have any butterflies in your yard this week?