Chlosyne nycteis

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This caterpillar is approximately 1 1/4 inches when mature. It is black with a sprinkling of tiny white spots on the top and sides. It frequently has a yellow to orange stripe along the sides. It has branching black spines. The head is black. The adult butterfly has a wingspan of approximately 1 3/4 inches. Above, it is orange with black wing bases and wide black margins. The hindwing has a marginal band of white crescents at the edge of a brown band. It has an orange submarginal band with a row of black, squarish spots some of which have white centers. Below, the hindwing is tan, white and black with a white median band.


This species is more common in some years than others. They will usually be found on the leaves of sunflower plants.


The female butterfly rafts eggs together in a mass. The young caterpillars feed together until the 3rd instar. Prepupal larvae wander before pupation.


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