Euphydryas chalcedona olancha

Olancha Checkerspot

Euphydryas chalcedona olancha was named by W.G. Wright in 1905 with a Type Locality of Olancha Peak, which is on the Tulare/Inyo Co. border west of the town of Olancha that straddles Highway 395. What stands out about this subspecies (in comparison to those I know best - nom. chalcedona and hennei) are the large white/cream spots on the dorsal side. That trait can be seen in individuals found on the west side of Sherman Pass down to at least Ant Canyon. Up Sherman Pass Road at 5800' I've seen larvae on Keckiella parviflora. They usually fly from April into July. They are almost certainly distasteful to predators due to that Keckiella, and thus possibly a model for dark-form palla females to mimic. That's my pet theory, anyway.

Euphydryas chalcedona olancha - 'Chalcedon' Variable Checkerspot
This checkerspot from Ant Canyon (across from the Kern River a few miles into Tulare County from Kern County) is very similar to the types of Euphydryas chalcedona olancha. April 20, 2014.
Euphydryas chalcedona olancha - 'Chalcedon' Variable Checkerspot
Ventral of Euphydryas chalcedona near olancha. Same time and place.
Euphydryas chalcedona olancha - 'Chalcedon' Variable Checkerspot
The prominent cream spots in this population make them very similar to the typical olancha subspecies. Ken Davenport considers these "near olancha".
Euphydryas chalcedona olancha - 'Chalcedon' Variable Checkerspot
Another ventral. All of these are from the same day. Males had recently emerged and were patrolling throughout the Ant Canyon area.
Euphydryas chalcedona olancha caterpillar - 'Chalcedon' Variable Checkerspot
These small larvae were on Keckiella parviflora on Sherman Pass road at 5800'. They're easy to find if you look for the nests. July 16, 2019.
Euphydryas chalcedona olancha caterpillar
On same plant as above, same day.

©Dennis Walker