Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)

Locally common in the NC mountains and piedmont, this species has up to 3 broods in NC, flying from Spring into Fall. Look for the white-centered black spot(s) near the margin of the upper hindwing to distinguish this from crescents (e.g., Pearl Crescent, Mimic Crescent, or Northern Crescent).

Pictured here are two subspecies of Silvery Checkerspot, one from the NC mountains, and one from the piedmont. Note that the mountain subspecies C. n. pastoron, formerly called C. ismeria obsoleta or C. nycteis obsoleta) shows a greater amount of black, especially on the hindwing, and more "open, white-filled" submarginal hindwing spots. For Ron Gatrelle's original publication describing this taxon, see Vol 4 Number 4 of The Taxonomic Report. You can download a pdf of this paper here: http://www.tils-ttr.org/. Click on the Taxonomic Report, then select Volume 4. The name was recently changed by Pelham, 2008, A Cataglogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada due to name conflicts. Note that the new name proposed by Pelham (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron) commemorates Ron Gatrelle, who was a Pastor, and who originally named the taxon.


Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron), Female
Clay Co., NC
14 May 2005
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron)
Clay Co., NC
22 May 2005

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron), Female
Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Swain Co., NC
4 July 2001

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron)

Side by side comparison of the 2 subspecies
Note on the dorsal hindwing of C. n. pastoron [=obsoleta], the inner orange band is always lighter in shade than the outer orange band. In C. n. nycteis, these bands are usually the same shade or close to it, and the inner band is also the same shade as the band on the forewing with which it aligns.

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis pastoron), Female
Clay Co., NC
21 May 2005
Silvery Checkerspot (C. nycteis nycteis), Male
Orange Co., NC
21 August 2004

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Male
Nectaring on Pycnanthemum tenuifolium
Orange Co., NC
25 July 2003
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Male
Korstian Division of Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
5 May 2004

These two individuals are atypical for subspecies nycteis in that the two hindwing orange bands are different shades.
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Male
Korstian Division of Duke Forest
Orange Co., NC
5 May 2004
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Female
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Female
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Female
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Male
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005
Silvery Checkerspot (C. n. nycteis), Male
Orange Co., NC
20 July 2005

Regarding the undersides of these two subspecies (compare photo on page top-right (obsoleta) with all other underside shots above (nycteis)), Ron Gatrelle notes, "The one underside of obsoleta (very top right of page) has a lot more white crescent marks on the outer edge of the HW, and more white in the middle of the wing. Obsoleta gets its name from less fulvous above and less dark below then nycteis. So most obsoleta will be darker above but lighter below. This is very pronounced in some specimens - of both subspecies. It's like having a strip of white and a strip of black and then overlapping them by 1/8 which yields a gray. 80% of each subspecies should be clearly referable to each. But the one extreme end of one will be similar or like the extreme end of the other.


Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis)
Wilkes Co., NC
24 Aug 2016

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) caterpillar
Harnett Co., NC
21 may 2006

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) caterpillar
Clay Co., NC
19 May 2007
Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) caterpillar
Clay Co., NC
19 May 2007


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Created on ... July 17, 2001; Updated on ... July 29, 2005 | jeffpippen9@gmail.com