Chlosyne leanira wrighti - 'Wright's' Leanira Checkerspot - from Glendora Ridge Road in the San Gabriels. May 1, 2011.
Ventral of the Leanira Checkerspot, subspecies wrighti, Barrett-Stoddard Truck Trail, San Gabriels, April 29, 2007. This was my first leanira, a butterfly that is not always easy to find. This particular spring it wasn't uncommon in certain areas up Mt. Baldy Road.
Larva of the Leanira Checkerspot wandering on the Cactus Springs Trail in the Santa Rosa Wilderness north of Anza-Borrego, April 15, 2011. This caterpillar leaves its host, Indian Paintbrush, as the plant dries up in April and hides until the following spring, when it resumes feeding. Thanks to my alert hiking companion that day, David Horner, for finding this.
I returned to Cactus Springs Trail April 26, 2011, and was able to find this late instar larva on Paintbrush.
Within a few minutes of taking the photograph above, I caught a glimpse of this recently-emerged beauty - a Leanira Checkerspot hanging out on a slope above me. This is the only one I would see this day, and the first adult I've ever seen on this trail.
Closer view of the same leanira wrighti.
A closer view of the striking pattern on the dorsal side of the Leanira Checkerspot.
Same one, just before it flew off into the distance. Seeing this rare butterfly really made my day.
Back to the Mt. Baldy area on May 1, 2011, where several leanira were flying.