California Ringlet
( Coenonympha tullia )


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PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Coenonympha tullia
(Müller, 1764)
Common Name:California Ringlet
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Nymphalidae
Subfamily:Satyrinae
Tribe:Satyrini
Genus:Coenonympha
Taxon Code:LEP00595
ITIS TSN#:778111

LOCATION DETAILS
Location
Morgan Fire Burn Area, Mount Diablo State Park, Clayton
County:Contra Costa County
ECI Site#:CASP175000
Park/Forest:Mount Diablo State Park

RECOGNITION
Highly variable in color and number of eye-spots, between and within subspecies and even local populations; the most widespread subspecies (C. t. inornata) varies from light buff to orange-brown to greyish-brown above, with hindwings and outer half of forewings often darker than basal part of forewings. Usually there are no upperside markings, just occasionally a single faint ring near the forewing apex. On the underside, basal half of forewing is same color as upperside, and basal half of hindwing is dark gray. Outer half of both wings is light gray, and both wings are divided by an irregular pale band. About 60 per cent of specimens have a distinct pale-bordered black spot with a silver pupil near the forewing apex.
Wingspan
27-39 mm.

BIOLOGY
Food
Larvae feed on many species of grasses.
Habitat
Present in a wide variety of grassy habitats, including roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, prairies, bogs, and arctic and alpine taiga and tundra.
Development
Mostly one generation per year; two or more generations per year southward at lower elevations; overwinters as a third or fourth instar larva in thick mats of dead grass. Where multiple broods occur, the spring and summer broods often look different, with one often being darker and more maculate than the other.
Range
Holarctic. In North America, absent from Nova Scotia, Mississippi basin, midsouthern and southeastern United States, but present everywhere else, including Alaska and the Canadian arctic. In the Southwest primarily limited to mountains, but found in lowlands west from Sierra Nevada in California. Reaches Mexico in Baja California.

HABITAT
Present in a wide variety of grassy habitats, including roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, prairies, bogs, and arctic and alpine taiga and tundra.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar

REFERENCES
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System TSN#778111


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