Subject: Butterfly sighting – Inyo National Forest
Location: Inyo National Forest – Golden Trout Wilderness
August 7, 2017 4:06 pm
Hi Bugman,
While hiking at about 9,000 feet altitude in the Inyo National Forest (Southern Sierra Nevada) we spotted several of this butterfly, mostly on the ground. Thought it might be one of the “Ladies” but the bottom side of the wings were very dark. It’s wingspan was around 2 inches.
Though we didn’t get pictures, we also saw a lot of Yellow Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites and one that looked like a Common Checkered Skipper (light brown wings with white oval spots) but has a wingspan of over 2 inches.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

California Tortoiseshell

Dear Jeff,
This pretty little butterfly with good camouflage when its wings are closed is a California Tortoiseshell,
Nymphalis californica, which you can verify by comparing your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge in June and fly until fall, then overwinter. They fly the following spring until April or May, mating and laying eggs for the next brood” and “Males perch in the late afternoon to look for females.”

California Tortoiseshell

Location: Golden Trout Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, California

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