Thursday, April 17, 2014

goosefoot violet ~ 04/17/14 ~ Chews Ridge


Note the chew marks on the flower petals above.  Violets are well-known caterpillar hosts for all Speyeria spp. butterflies.  Usually the leaves are the reported food source, but I wonder if the tender petals could be easier to eat for the first few instars.  Chris has found callipe fritillary (Speyeria callippe comstocki), coronis fritillary (Speyeria coronis), and unsilvered fritillary (Speyeria adiaste) at Chews Ridge.  True to its name, the unsilvered fritillary lacks the flashy white spots on the underside of the hindwing that many other CA Speyeria spp. have.  I'm hoping to return with him in the next couple months to see these gorgeously large butterflies on the wing.

I never really appreciated the variety of wild violets there are before this year of numerous spring outings.  Calflora lists 46 Viola spp./ssp.  Many of them are yellow, not violet.  We also found yellow violets that had rounder, shinier leaves, which I suspect was V. pupurea spp. purpurea.

ps 05/05/14 - I added callipe fritillary above after Ryan Hill reminded me.  Many people have only heard of the callipe in terms of the subspecies S. callipe callipe because of it's federally endangered status.  There are several recognized ssp. of S. callipe.

No comments: