Chlosyne gorgone – Gorgone Checkerspot

Caterpillar foods:  Sunflowers and other composites  (Glassberg)  including Black-eyed Susan (personal experience)

7/21/2005 – This was the first Gorgone Checkerspot I saw – on a butterfly count that Mike Reese and I did at our farm.

Since then I’ve seen many of them – they’re a fairly common butterfly on our land.

5/18/2012

I found these caterpillars feeding communally on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) on June 20, 2010.  They were in one of our planted prairies.

A close up of one of the caterpillars – slightly larger and more orange than the rest.

I wasn’t sure what species they were, so I brought them home and put them in an aquarium.

The caterpillars varied in color from mostly orange with dark spines, to nearly all dark.  These photos were taken a few days later, on June 24.

Here are two larvae a few days later – on June 27.

June 30


They began to pupate a few days later – in the first few days of July.

They all tucked their chrysalises in the corners of the screen lid of the aquarium I was keeping them in.  I was afraid I would squash them when I open and closed the lid, so I pulled them off the screening and stuck them onto a piece of paper towel with white glue.

They started hatching on July 7.

It was difficult to get photos of the undersides of their wings.  This one was taken while the butterfly was fluttering around inside the aquarium before being released.

After being released, they immediately flew onto Black-eyed Susan flowers that were growing outside my door, and began nectaring.

 

5/18/2012  A mated pair