Fulvia X Theona

Hank Brodkin hbrodkin at cox.net
Mon Jun 7 14:01:41 EDT 2010

Across the road from our house is a limestone hill called Crump Hill or
Grump Hill depending upon whom you ask.  There is quite a bit of paintbrush
- species unknown to me, but maybe Jim Brock or Rich Bailowitz knows.  Both
C. theona and C. fulvia (Theona and Fulvia Checkerspot) can be found in
numbers on that hill.  Occasionally a small number of both species, usually
singletons, make it over to my yard.  
I have a Wait-a-bit bush (Mimosa sp) that is in good bloom now.  A couple
days ago I noticed what I at first thought were two fulvia nectaring and
yesterday attempting to mate.  The female was larger and somewhat tattered
and the smaller male was in good shape.  I id'd the female by the "ladder"
and veining of the under hind wing, but because the other butterfly was in
good shape I took photos of it.  When I showed them to my wife, Priscilla,
she said that the photo we were looking at was a theona, and upon closer
scrutiny I realized that, as usual, she was correct.  This morning there was
one Chlosyne again on the bush that had the same damage as the female I saw
earlier.  It was indeed the fulvia, and I photographed it.
A couple of questions - Can both of these species use the same paintbrush
and does anyone know the species of this plant.  And does anyone know if
these species ever hybridize?  Also do either of these ever hybridize with
C. cynea (Black Checkerspot)?

Hank Brodkin 
Carr Canyon, Cochise County, AZ
33°58’24”N  118°27’39”W
hbrodkin at cox.net 
"Butterflies of Arizona - a Photographic Guide"
"Finding Butterflies in Arizona - a Guide to the Best Sites"

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