Santa Barbara Field Guides - Butterflies|
wingspread 2-2.5 in.|
Recognition: Males have dark FW with unique and distinctive irridescent pink/violet center (which, unfortunately, doesn't photograph well) and yellow/orange HW; females are pale yellow with round black (discal) spot on FW and little to no black traces around FW edges.
Flight period: Adults are active from April to May, and July to September.
Hostplants: The larva feeds on false indigo (Amorpha californica) and a few other legumes (Fabaceae).
Habitat: Found in moister open areas, like meadows, foothills, and mountains; not found in the deserts.
Distribution: Found from California to northern Baja California, and in California is mostly found from central California to southern San Diego County, like in the San Bernardino mountains.
Other: This beautiful and unique butterfly gets its name from the "dog's head" that many see in the FW of the male. This species is California's official state butterfly and is sometimes also nicknamed the "Flying Pansy."