California Dogface

Zerene eurydice

Order: 

Lepidoptera

Family: 

Pieridae

This is California’s state butterfly and the males defining characteristic is their bright yellow color with a black outline that resembles a dog’s head on the forewing (1). Both the male and female variations have a black spot (an eye) and span geographic regions of low to moderate elevations from Baja California up to Northern California in temperate habitat regions(1).  The California Dogface is herbivorous and commonly eat the nectar from the plant Amorpha californica who’s common name is the California false indigo which also serves as a site of mating on the leaves(2). The average wingspan approximately ranges from 5.1-6.3cm and their flight pattern makes them most prevalent during spring (April-May) and summer (July-August).

 

(1)Garth, J. S., Garth, J. S., & Tilden, J. W. (1986). California butterflies (Vol. 51). Univ of California Press.

(2)Hong, K. 2002. "Zerene eurydice" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan – Museum of Zoology. Accessed August 21, 2018 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Zerene_eurydice/

Habitat: 

  • grassland