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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.

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

 

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

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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?

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

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

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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?