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Phyciodes m. mylitta (W. H. Edwards, 1861)
(Mylitta Crescent)

Type Specimens
photo collection:


Pinned Specimens
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Pinned Specimens
photo collection Page 2:

Live Adults photo collection
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Live Adults photo collection
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Larval Foodplants and Habitats
photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

Distribution: BC to MT, S to S CA

Larval Foodplants: Asteraceae: Cirsium andersonii (Gray) Petrak, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop., Cirsium douglasii var. breweri (Petrak) Keil & C. Turner, Cirsium californicum var. californicum Gray, Cirsium callilepis var. callilepis (Greene) Jepson, Cirsium edule Nutt., Cirsium hookerianum Nutt., Cirsium hydrophilum (Greene) Jepson, Cirsium occidentale (Nutt.) Jepson, Cirsium occidentale var. venustum  (Greene) Jepson, Cirsium remotifolium (Hook.) DC., Cirsium undulatum (Nutt.) Spreng., Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten., Cynara scolymus  L., Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn., Carduus pycnocephalus L.

Occasional or accidental use: Centaurea diffusa Lam., Centaurea solstitialis L.


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

Genus Phyciodes Hübner, [1819]

Verz. bekannt. Schmett. (2): 29. Type-species: Papilio cocyta Cramer, 1777, Uitl. Kapellen 2(9): 7, pl. 101, figs. A, B; (16): 148 (index), by designation of Scudder (1872), 4th Ann. Rep. Peabody Acad. Sci. (1871): 46. The arrangement of species in this genus follows Wahlberg et al. (2003), Syst. Entomol. 28(2): 257-273.


Phyciodes mylitta (W. H. Edwards, 1861)


Phyciodes mylitta mylitta (W. H. Edwards, 1861)

Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 13(6): 160-161, no. 1.

Original Combination: Melitaea mylitta

Type Locality: “Texas; Kansas; California”; neotype from “Stanyan Hill, San Francisco, California.” [San Francisco County]

Types: Neotype in CAS, designated by F. Brown (1966), Trans. Am. Entomol. Soc. 92(3): 442, fig. 27 ♂ D&V.

                         =    ‡collina (Behr, 1863)

Proc. Calif. Acad. Sci. [1]3(6): 86, no. 2.

Original Combination: M[elitaea]. collina

Type Locality: “California” implied from the title of the paper, “in the vicinity of San Francisco, and the hills of Contra Costa, especially on the grassy valleys, along creeks, and on hillsides” from the description; neotype from “Presidio, San Francisco, San Francisco County, California.”

Types: Type(s) destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire; neotype in CAS, designated by J. Emmel et al. (1998), Syst. W. N. Am. Butts. (6): 100-101, figs. 34 ♂ D, 35 ♂ V.

Preoccupied by Melitaea collina Lederer, 1861, Wien. entomol. Monatschr. 5(5): 148, pl. 1, figs. 4, 5.

                   =    epula (Boisduval, 1869)

Annls. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 12: 55, no. 40.

Original Combination: Melitaea Epula

Type Locality: “De l’Interieur de la Californie”; defined as “San Francisco, San Francisco County, California” by J. Emmel et al. (1998), Syst. W. N. Am. Butts. (2): 31.

Types: Lectotype in USNM, designated by J. Emmel et al. (1998), Syst. W. N. Am. Butts. (2): 31, figs. 234 ♀ D, 235 ♀ V. Higgins (1981), Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. 43(3): 88, designated a lectotype in the in BMNH. Presumably, this was the specimen figured by Oberthür (1914), Étud. Lépid. Comp. 9(2): 80, pl. 259, fig. 2176 ♂ D&V, and is not a syntype (Code Article 74.2).

                         =    ‡”collinsi” Gunder, 1930

Bull. South. Calif. Acad. Sci. 29(2): 62, no. 75.

Original Combination: Phyciodes mylitta tr. f. collinsi

Type Locality: “Collins Ranch, Voltair, California” [San Joaquin County]

Types: “Holotype” in AMNH; figured by J. A. Comstock (1927), Butts. Calif.: pl. 39, fig. 16 ♂ D.

                         =    ‡”macyi” Fender, 1930

Entomol. News 41(6): 182.

Original Combination: Phyciodes mylitta n. aberr. macyi

Type Locality: “McMinnville, Oregon” [Yamhill County]

Types: Location of “holotype” not known.


Behr, Hans Herman. 1863. On Californian Lepidoptera--No. III. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 3(1)([sig.]6): 84-93. {Dec 1863} [description of Melitaea collina

Barnes, William and James Halliday McDunnough. 1916. Notes on North American diurnal Lepidoptera. Contributions to the Natural History of the Lepidoptera of North America 3(2): 49-156, 8 pls. {15 Dec 1916} 

Boisduval, Jean Baptiste Alphonse d'Echauffour. 1868-1869. Lépidoptères de la Californie. Annales de la Société entomologique de Belgique 12: 1-28 (1868); 37-94 ([1 Nov] 1869) [missing pp. 29-37 through printer's error] {1868-1869} [description of Melitaea Epula

Brown, Frederick Martin. 1966. The types of the nymphalid butterflies described by William Henry Edwards--Part II, Melitaeinae. Transactions of the American Entomological Society 92(3): 357-468, 34 figs. {Sep, 20 Oct 1966} 

Comstock, John Adams. 1927. Butterflies of California. A popular guide to a knowledge of the butterflies of California embracing all of the 477 species and varieties at present recorded from the state. Author, Los Angeles, California. 334 pp., 63 pls. {1927} 

Dyar, Harrison G. 1891. Description of some butterfly larvae from Yosemite.BIII. Canadian Entomologist 23(10): 203-206. {7 Oct 1891} 

Davenport, Ken. 1983. Geographic distribution and checklist of the butterflies of Kern County, California. Journal of the Lepidopterists= Society 37(1): 46-69. {19 Aug 1983} 

Edwards, Henry. 1873. Pacific Coast Lepidoptera, No. 2: on the transformation of the diurnal Lepidoptera of California and the adjacent districts. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 5(11): 161-172. {Nov 1873} 

Edwards, William Henry. 1861. Descriptions of certain species of diurnal Lepidoptera found within the limits of the United States and British America. Proceedings of the Academy of natural Sciences of Philadelphia 13[6]: 160-164. {Jul (pre-print [Aug]); paper [27 Dec] 1861} [description of Melitaea mylitta

Emmel, Thomas Chadbourne and John F. Emmel. 1973. The butterflies of southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series 26: xi + 148 pp., 10 pls., 77 figs. {30 Nov 1973} 

Emmel, John F., Thomas Chadbourne Emmel and Sterling O. Mattoon. 1998. 6. The types of California butterflies named by Herman Behr: designations of neotypes and fixation of type localities. Pp. 95-114, 78 figs., in: T. C. Emmel (Ed.), Systematics of western North American Butterflies. Gainesville; Mariposa Press; {[18] Dec 1998}

Fender, Kenneth M. 1930. A new butterfly aberration (Lepid.: Nymphalidae). Entomological News 41(6): 182 {June 1930} [description of Phyciodes mylitta n. aberr. macyi

Ferris, Clifford Duras and Frederick Martin Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. Oklahoma; Univ. Oklahoma Press: 442 pp., 4 cpls., many figures [contributions from Donald Eff, Scott Ellis, Michael Fisher, Lee D. Miller, James Scott and Raymond Stanford] {1981} 

Forbes, William Trowbridge Merrifield. 1945. The genus Phyciodes (Lepidoptera, Nymphalinae). Entomologica Americana (n.s.)24: 139-207. {Oct 1944, 24 May 1945} 

Gunder, Jean Daniel. 1926. Several new aberrant Lepidoptera (Rhopalocera). Entomological News 37(1): 1-9, pl. 1 {[7] Jan 1926} 

Gunder, Jeane Daniel. 1930. Butterflies of Los Angeles County, California. Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Science 29(2): 39-95, pls. 18-23 {May-Aug 1930, 15 Aug 1930}  [description of Phyciodes mylitta tr. f. collinsi

Guppy, Crispin S. & Jon H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia. Including western Alberta, southern Yukon, the Alaska panhandle, Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana. Vancouver-Toronto; Royal British Columbia Museum, Univ, British Columbia Press: 414, 75 figs., text figures, maps. {2001} 

Hall, Arthur. 1928-1930. A revision of the genus Phyciodes Hubn. (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Bulletin of the Hill Museum 2(2)(supplement 1): 1-20, pls. 1-3 {18 Jun 1928} 2(3)(supplement): 21-44 {17 Nov 1928}; 3(1)(supplement): 45-94 {30 Apr 1929}; 3(2)(supplement): 95-146 {29 Aug 1929}; 3(3)(supplement): 147-170 {30 Dec 1929}; 4(1)(supplement): 171-204 {28 Jul 1930}; 4(2)(supplement): 205-206; add. Page {29 Dec 1930} 

Higgins, Lionel George. 1981. A revision of Phyciodes Hübner and related genera, with a review of the classification of the Melitaeinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology) 43(3): 77-243, 490 figs. {29 Oct 1981} 

Hoffmann, Carlos Christian. 1940. Catálogo systemático y zoogeográphico de los Lepidópteros Mexicanos, Primera parte. Papilionoidea. Anales del Instituto de Biología. Universidad Nacional de México 11(2): 639-739, 2 maps. {[after 28 Dec] 1940} 

Lamas, Gerardo. 1999. Nomenclatural faux‑pas among western North American butterflies. Lepidoptera News 1999(2): 7-8 {30 June [19 Aug] 1999} 

Layberry, Ross A., Peter W. Hall, J. Donald Lafontaine (plates by John T. Fowler). 1998. The butterflies of Canada. Toronto, Buffalo & London; University of Toronto Press: 280 pp., 32 pls., 294 maps and illus. {1998}

Mead, Theodore Luqueer. 1875. Chapter VIII. Report upon the collections of diurnal Lepidoptera made in portions of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona during the years 1871, 1872, 1873, and 1874, with notes upon all species known to inhabit Colorado. Pp. 739-791, pls. 35-40, in: George M. Wheeler (and A. A. Humphreys), Report upon Geological Explorations and Surveys West of the One Hundredth Meridian. Washington, D.C.; Government Printing Office; Engineer Dept., U. S. Army: [212] pp., [8] leaves of pls. {1875} 

Oberthür, Charles. 1914. VII. Les lépidoptères de la Californie par le Docteur Boisduval. Études de Lépidopterologie comp. 9(2): 73-90; pls. 258-264 {May 1914} 

Pyle, Robert Michael. 2002. Butterflies of Cascadia. Seattle; Seattle Audubon Society: 420 pp., figs., drawings, photos. {2002} 

Röber, Johannes Karl Max 1913-1914. Gattung Phyciodes. In: A. Seitz (Ed.), Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde 5(162): pl. 92 {5 Jun 1913}; (183): 434-440, pl. 90 {10 Dec 1913}; (188): 449-450, pls. 88, 89. {[before 10 Feb] 1914}; (189): pl. 91. {14 Apr 1914} 

Scott, James A. 1975. Early stages of Phyciodes pallida, P. orseis, and P. mylitta (Nymphalidae). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14(2): 84 {May 1975} 

Scott, James A. 1992. Hostplant records for butterflies and skippers (mostly from Colorado) 1959-1991, with new life histories and notes on oviposition, immatures, and ecology. Papilio (n.s.) 6: 1-171, 10 tables {5 Jul 1992} 

Scott, James A. 1994. Biology and systematics of Phyciodes (Phyciodes). Papilio (n.s.) 7: 1-120, 227 figs., 12 tables {18 Nov 1994}

Scott, James A. 2006. Phyciodes (Phyciodes): more progress. Papilio (New Series) 13: 38 pp., 5 tbls., cartoon {28 Apr 2006} 

Shapiro, Arthur Maurice, Cheryl A. Palm and Karen L. Wcislo. 1981. The ecology and biogeography of the butterflies of the Trinity Alps and Mount Eddy, northern California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18(2): 69-151. {Summer 1979(81), 31 Jan 1981} 

Shepard, Jon H. 1977. Scientific note: Immigration of Phyciodes mylitta to Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 53(?): 167-168 {Jul 1977} 

Tilden, James William. [1970]. Concerning the names and status of certain North American members of the genus Phyciodes. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 8(3): 94-98 {3 Sep 1969 [21 Dec 1970]} 

Wahlberg, Niklas, Rita Oliviera and James A. Scott. 2003. Phylogenetic relationships of Phyciodes butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae): complex mtDNA variations and species delimittions. Systematic Entomology 28(2): 257-273, 4 figs., 2 tbls., 1 app. {Apr 2003}

Williams, Francis Xavier. 1910. The butterflies of San Francisco, California. Entomological News 21(1): 30-41 {Jan 1910}

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