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Santa Barbara Field Guides Butterflies

     Thessalia leanira
     Leanira Checkerspot


Size: wingspread 1.25-1.75 in.
Recognition: Variable; black, orange, and orange-red pattern of checkers and bands with yellow spot pattern.
Flight period: March to June.
Hostplants: The larvae feed on paintbrushes (Castilleja species in Scrophulariaceae).
Habitat: Oak forests, woodlands, desert edges, foothills, are frequented along with areas that have yellow composite flowers for nectaring.
Distribution: Most of California, Nevada, and Utah, excluding central valley of California.
Other: The Leanira Checkerspot comprises four subspecies that all vary slightly in color and distribution from each other. One subspecies,T. leanira daviesi, occurs sparsely through the coastal mountains from San Luis Obispo County to Santa Barbara County.

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