Euphydryas editha ehrlichi

Ehrlich's Checkerspot

Described in the 1998 Systematics book by Baughman and Murphy (p.398), this is distinguised in a few ways. It is said to be relatively small, and the orange-red coloration is brighter than in other editha subspecies. It also uses the yellow-flowered paintbrush Castilleja plagiotoma (Mojave Indian paintbrush). This is a rare, hemiparasitic plant with a spring bloom. According to the original description, eggs and larvae were found only on plants with "sheltered northeast slope exposures", so the butterfly has a limited range within the range of the plant. The habitat is described as high desert or "Joshua Tree Woodland and Sage Scrub", which is unusual for editha, not thought of as a desert butterfly.

Ehrlich's Checkerspot - Euphydryas editha ehrlichi
Ehrlich's checkerspot, Euphydryas editha ehrlichi, from the Ord Mountains near Hesperia. I made a special trip just to find ehrlichi, and this is the only one I saw the entire day. April 23, 2008.
Ehrlich's Checkerspot - Euphydryas editha ehrlichi
This subspecies ranges south into the Coxey Meadow area, according to Gordon Pratt. April 27, 2020.

©Dennis Walker