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Euphydryas p. phaeton (Drury, 1773)
(Baltimore Checkerspot)

Pinned Specimens
photo collection Page 1:


Pinned Specimens
photo collection Page 2:

photo collection:

Live Adults photo collection
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Live Adults photo collection
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photo collection:

Larval Foodplants and Habitats photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

Larval foodplants
Euphydryas phaeton phaeton
(Drury, 1773)

Scrophulariaceae: Aureolaria grandiflora (Benth.) Pennell, Aureolaria flava var. flava (L.) Farw., Aureolaria pedicularia var. pedicularia (L.) Raf., Chelone glabra L., Dasistoma macrophylla  (Nutt.) Raf., Mimulus ringens L., Pedicularis canadensis L., Penstemon hirsutus (L.) Willd., Scrophularia marilandica  L. 

Plantaginaceae: Plantago lanceolata L. 

Caprifoliaceae: Lonicera canadensis Bartr. ex Marsh., Lonicera oblongifolia (Goldie) Hook.


(From: A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada, Jonathan P. Pelham)

Genus Euphydryas Scudder, 1872

4th Ann. Rept. Peabody Acad. Sci. (1871): 48. Type-species: Papilio phaeton Drury, 1773, Ill. Nat. Hist. 1: 42-43, pl. 21, figs. 3, 4; 2: index, by original designation. I.C.Z.N. Opinion 278 placed this name on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology as name no. 700.


Euphydryas phaeton (Drury, 1773)


Euphydryas phaeton phaeton (Drury, 1773)

Ill. Nat. Hist. 1: 42-43, pl. 21, figs. 3 ♀ D, 4 ♀ V (1770); 2: index (1773, name given).

Original Combination: Papilio Phaeton

Type Locality: “New York”

Types: Type(s) lost.

I.C.Z.N. Opinion 278 placed this name on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology as name no. 104.

                   =    phaetaena (Hübner, [1819])

Verz. bekannt. Schmett. (2): 228, no. 221; cited “Fabr. Syst. Pap. 167, Cram. 193. C. D.”

Original Combination: Melitaea Phaëtaena

Type Locality: Not stated.

Types: Type(s) probably lost.

This name is probably a misspelling, but the references by Hübner make this unclear.

                   =    schausi (A. Clark, 1927)

Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 71(2683): 1-2, pl. 1, figs. 5 ♂ D, 6 ♂ V, 7 ♀ D, 8 ♀ V; pl. 3, figs. 17-24; pl. 4, figs. 25-32; pl. 5, figs. 33-40.

Original Combination: Melitaea phaëton schausi

Type Locality: Not stated; syntypes from “Cabin John, Maryland.” [Montgomery County]

Types: Syntypes in USNM.

                   =    borealis F. Chermock & R. Chermock, 1940

Bull. Penn. Acad. Sci. 14: 140.

Original Combination: Euphydryas phaëton borealis

Type Locality: “Lincoln, Maine” [Penobscot County]

Types: Holotype in CNC.

                         =    ‡”superba” (Strecker, 1878)

Butts. & Moths N. Am., Comp. Syn. Cat.: 125, no. 249.

Original Combination: [Melitaea Phaeton] ab. a. ♂ Superba

Type Locality: “Long Island, New York”

Types: “Holotype” in FMNH; figured by Gunder (1927), Entomol. News 38(9): pl. 6, upper half, fig. 5 ♂ D&V.

                         =    ‡”phaethusa” (Hulst, 1881)

Bull. Brooklyn Entomol. Soc. 3(9): 77, no. 6, pl., fig. no. 6 ♂ (“holotype”).

Original Combination: Melitaea Phaethusa aber. nov.

Type Locality: “just outside the city line of Brooklyn, at east Williamsburgh” [Long Island, New York]

Types: “Holotype” in USNM; figured by Gunder (1929), Pan-Pac. Entomol. 6(1): pl. 1 ♂ D&V.

                         =    ‡”streckeri” (Ellsworth, 1902)

Entomol. News 13(4): 104.

Original Combination: [Melitaea phaeton aberration or variety] Melitaea streckeri

Type Locality: “Vestal, N. Y.” [Broome County, New York]

Types: Location of “holotype” not known.

Although this name was proposed as a binomen, this taxon was clearly defined as an individual variant in the text. It is considered unavailable.

                         =    ‡”magnifica” (A. Clark, 1927)

Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 71(2683): 7, pl. 2, figs. 9 ♀ D, 10 ♀ V, 11 ♀ D (“type”), 12 ♀ V (“type”).

Original Combination: Melitaea phaëton ab. magnifica

Types: “Cabin John, Maryland” [Montgomery County]

Types: “Holotype” in USNM.


Aaron, Charles E. 1884. On the caterpillars of North American Papilionidae and Nymphalidae. Papilio 4(5/[6]): 83-91. {May-Jun [22 Jul] 1884} cited in Papilio 4(9/10): 189} [Translated from Gruber, August, 1884, Jena Zeitschrift für naturwissenschaft 17 (N.F. 10)

Bauer, David L. 1961. Tribe Melitaeini. Pp. 127-146, in: P. R. Ehrlich & A. H. Ehrlich, How to know the butterflies. Dubuque, Iowa; W. C. Brown Co.: [8] + 262 pp., 525 figs. {1961} 

Bauer, David L. 1975. Tribe Melitaeini. Pp. 139-195, in: W. H. Howe (ed.) The butterflies of North America. Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Co.: xiii + 633 pp.; 97 pls., 32 tf. {[7 Nov] 1975} 

Berenbaum, May R. 1995. Aposematism and mimicry in caterpillars. Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 49(4): 386-396, 4 figs., 1 tbl. {1995} 

Beutenmüller, William. 1893. Article XVI.-Descriptive catalogue of the butterflies found within fifty miles of New York City, together with a brief account of their life histories and habits. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 4(16): 241-310, 5 pls. {Oct 1893} 

Bowe, John J. 1972. Another larval foodplant for Euphydryas phaeton (Drury) (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 26(2): 122. {17 May 1972} 

Bowers. M. Deane 1978. Over-wintering behavior in Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 32(4): 282-288 {28 Feb 1979} 

Bowers. M. Deane 1980. Unpalatability as a defense strategy of Euphydryas phaeton (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Evolution 34(3): 586-600 {May 1980} 

Bowers. M. Deane 1982. Aggregation behavior in Baltimore checkerspot caterpillars, Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 36(1): 31-41, 4 figs., 1 tbl. {16 Jun 1982} 

Bowers. M. Deane 1983. Selection of oviposition sites by the Baltimore checkerspot, Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 36(4): 290-302, 3 figs., 5 tbls. {1983, 18 Mar 1983} 

Britten, Hugh B., Peter F. Brussard and Dennis D. Murphy. 1996. Isozyme data and the taxonomy of checkerspot butterflies (Euphydryas ). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 32: 124-134, 1 fig., 4 tbls. {1993, 1 May 1995} 

Chermock, Franklin Hugo and Ralph Lucien Chermock. 1940. A new race of Euphydryas phaeton Dru. Bulletin of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 14: 140. {1940} [description of Euphydryas phaeton borealis]

Brussard, Peter F., John F. Baughman, Dennis D. Murphy, Paul R. Ehrlich and Janet Wright. 1989. Complex differentiation in checkerspot butterflies (Euphydryas spp.). Canadian Journal of Zoology 67(2): 330-335, 4 figs., 1 tbl. {Feb 1989} 

Clark, Austin Hobart. 1927. Notes on the melitaeid butterfly Euphydryas phaëton (Drury), with descriptions of a new subspecies and a new variety. Proceedings of the United States national Museum 71(2683): 1-22, 5 pls. {22 Apr 1927} [description of Melitaea phaëton schausi; Melitaea phaëton schausi ab. magnifica

dos Passos, Cyril Franklin. 1969. A revised synonymic list of the nearctic Melitaeinae with taxonomic notes (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 23(2): 115-125. {29 May 1969} 

Drury, Dru. 1770-1782. Illustrations of Natural History.  Wherein are exhibited upwards of two hundred and forty figures of Exotic Insects, according to their different genera; very few of which have hitherto been figured by any author, being engraved and coloured from nature, with the greatest accuracy, and under the author=s own inspection on fifty copper-plates; with a particular description of each insect: interpersed with remarks and reflections on the nature and properties of many of them.  To which is added a translation into French. London; White 1: xxvii + 130 + [2] pp.; 50 + 1 pls., 4 figs. ([23 Apr] 1770}; 1(index): xiii pp.; 2: vii + 90 + [4] pp.; 50 pls. {[14 May] 1773}; 3: xxviii + 76 + [2] pp.; 50 pls {[23 Jul] 1782} [description of Papilio Phaeton

Edwards, William Henry. 1868-1897. The butterflies of North America. Boston; Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 1: [i], ii, [163], v, 52 pp., 50 pls. (1868-1872); 2: [i], [358] pp., 51 pls. (1874-1884); 3: [viii], [432] pp., 51 pls. (1887-1897). 

Edwards, William Henry. 1875. Notes on butterflies. Canadian Entomologist, 7(8): 150-151. {Aug 1875} 

Edwards, William Henry. 1884. Description of the preparatory stages of Melitaea Chalcedon, Boisd., with some notes on larvae of M. Phaeton. Papilio 4(4): 63-70 {[23] Apr 1884} cited in Papilio 4(5/[6]): 114 

Ehrlich, Paul Ralph, Raymond R. White, Michael C. Singer, Stephen W. McKechnie and Lawrence Edmund Gilbert. 1975. Checkerspot butterflies: a historical perspective. Science 188: 221-228, 2 figs., 1 tbl. {18 Apr 1975} 

Ellsworth, Addison. 1902. Notes on butterflies and description of an aberration. Entomological News 13(4): 103-104. {Apr 1902}[description of Melitaea phaeton aberration or variety Melitaea streckeri

Fernald, Charles Henry. 1884. The butterflies of Maine. Augusta; Sprague & Son, 8vo: 104 pp.; 35 figs. {Feb 1884}

French, George Hazen. 1890. The butterflies of the eastern United States. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippencott Co.: 408 pp., 93 figs. {1890} 

Gunder, Jean Daniel. 1927. Transition forms (Lepidoptera, Rhopalocera). Entomological News 38(9): 263-271, 6 pls. {Nov, [31 Oct] 1927} 

Gunder, Jean Daniel. 1929. The genus Euphydryas Scud. of boreal America (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 6(1): 1-8, 16 pls. {Jul 1929} 

Higgins, Lionel George. 1978. A revision of the genus Euphydryas Scudder (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Entomologist=s Gazette 29(3): 109-115. {21 Jul 1978} 

Hübner, Jacob 1816-[1826]. Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge [sic!]. Anzeiger derim Verzeichnisse bekannter Schmettlinge aufnommenen benennungen, ihrer horden, rotten, stämme, familien, vereine und gattungen. Augsburg, Augustae Vindelicorum: 432 pp.; (Anzeiger) 72 pp. [dates determined from I.C.Z.N. Opinion 150] [description of Melitaea Phaetaena

Hulst, George Duryea. 1881. Description of some new species of North American Lepidoptera. Bulletin of the Brooklyn entomological Society 3(9): 75-77. {Jan 1881}; 4(1): pl. {May 1881} [description of Melitaea Phaetusa aber. nov.] 

Lintner, Joseph Albert. 1872. Entomological contributions- No. 2.  II. Observations on Melitaea Phaeton (Fabr). Pp. 154-157, in: From the twenty-third annual report of the New York State Cabinet of Natural History for the year 1869.  Appendix D. Entomological contributions.  By J. A. Lintner.  Printed in Advance of the Report. Albany; Weed, Parsons and Company, Printers: [4] + 5-90 pp., 8 pls.; pages of Annual Report (published later) and Contributions on each page {1872} 

Maynard, Charles Johnson. 1891. The butterflies of New England; with original descriptions of one hundred and six species, accompanied by an appendix containing descriptions of one hundred additional species.  Illustrated with ten hand-colored plates, in which are given at least two hand-colored figures of each species. second edition. Newtonville, Mass., C. J. Maynard: [4] + iv + 78 + [4] pp.; 10 pls. 

Ottolengui, Rodrigues. 1895. Types in the Neumoegen Collection.--1 Entomological News 6(7): 216-219. {Sep 1895} 

Scudder, Samuel Hubbard. 1888-1889. The butterflies of the eastern United States and Canada with special reference to New England. Cambridge; Samuel Hubbard Scudder, 1(introduction, Nymphalidae): xxiv +  766 pp., frtspc. (colored); 2(Lycaenidae, Papilionidae, Hesperiidae): xii + 767-1774, frtspc. (colored), 1 map; 3(appendix, plates): i-viii, 1775-1958, frtspc., pls. 1-89 (14 colored), 3 maps {[Nov 1888], [1Apr] 1889} 

Shull, Ernest M. and F. Sidney Badger. 1972. Annotated list of the butterflies of Indiana, 1971. Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 26(1): 13-24 {}

Skinner, Henry. 1918. A Gynandromorph of Callosamia angulifera and Melitaea phaeton aber. streckeri (Lep.). Entomological News 29(10): 369. {24 Jul 1918} 

Stamp, Nancy E. 1979. New oviposition plant for Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 33(3): 203-204. {29 Oct 1979} 

Stamp, Nancy E. 1981. Sexual selection of group size on parasitism in a natural population of the Baltimore checkerspot Euphydryas phaeton. Oecologia 49(2): 201-206. {May 1981} 

Strecker, Ferdinand Heinrich Herman. 1878. Butterflies and moths of North America, with full instructions for collecting, breeding, preparing, classifying, packing for shipment, etc. A complete synonymical catalogue of Macrolepidoptera, with a full bibliography, to which is added a glossary of terms and an alphabetical and descriptive list of localities. Reading; B. F. Owen: [4] + ii + 283 pp., 2 pls. {[Oct] 1878} [description of Melitaea Phaeton ab. a. % Superba

Vawter, A. Thomas and Janet Wright. 1986. Genetic differentiation between subspecies of Euphydryas phaeton (Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 25(1): 25-29, 2 tbls. {Spring 1986, 1 Oct 1986} 

Wahlberg, Niklas & Marie Zimmerman. 2000. Pattern of phylogenetic relationships among members of the tribe Melitaeini (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA Sequences. Cladistics 16(4): 347-363, 4 figs., 3 tbls. {Dec 2000} 

Zimmerman, Marie, Niklas Wahlberg & Henri Descimon. 2000. Phylogeny of Euphydryas checkerspot butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93(3): 347-355, 4 figs., 5 tbls. {May 2000}

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