Utah Lepidopterists' Society

Founded 6 Nov 1976

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Utah Habitats for Butterflies and Moths

Basin and Range Province


1. Wasatch Canyons

2. Wasatch Valley Riparian

3. Wasatch Valley Meadows

4. Wasatch Hilltops

5. Arctic Alpine

6. Basin and Range Province

7. Canyon Country

8. Montane

9. Utah's Dixie

Utah and Salt Lake Valley are quite unique in that they provide a buffer zone between two vastly different mountain ranges--The Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west.  The Wasatch Range represents the westernmost extension of the Rocky Mountains whereas the Oquirrh Mountains and Lake Mountains represent the eastern extension of the Great Basin or Basin and Range Province.  (The Lake Mountains and the Wasatch Front literally are within 14 miles of each other--speaking of the aerial distance [13.2 miles] of Israel Canyon to the mouth of American Fork Canyon.)

Because these two mountain ranges come from different geological eras, their flora and fauna can be quite diverse as well. 

Whereas canyons of the Wasatch Front are filled with trees and shrubs such as Box Elder, Willow, Scrub Oak, Maple, and Choke Cherry, contrastingly, canyons of the Basin and Range Province are more densely populated with Pinyon, Juniper, Sagebrush, and, less commonly, Indian Paintbrush and Cliffrose.

Just as the floral distribution between these two mountain ranges is diverse, so is the faunal distribution of several butterflies--especially on the subspecific level.

This is evident in many butterfly families including the family Pieridae (Whites, Sulphurs, and Orangetips.)  For example, Spring Whites and Orange-tips fly in both the Wasatch Front and in the Basin and Range Province.  However, on a spring day around April 20, if you take the time to collect Utah Stella Orangetips (Anthocharis stella browningi) and Spring Whites (Pieris sisymbri sisymbri) at Rock Canyon in the Wasatch say in the morning; and then, in the afternoon, venture only 25 miles away to Spring Creek west of Cedar Fort, you will find the Orangetips (Anthocharis sara thoosa) and the Dark-Veined Spring Whites (Pieris sisymbri nigravenosa) to look quite a bit different than their Wasatch Front counterparts.  

The same story holds true in the family Nymphalidae (Brush-footed butterflies) with Variable Checkerspots.  The Wasatch Front variety is Euphydryas anicia maria whereas the Basin and Range subspecies is Euphydryas anicia wheeleri.  For a complete list of butterfly examples of this subspecific (and in some cases specific) divergence between these two mountain ranges, please see table below:

Wasatch Front Basin and Range Province
Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra indra) West Desert Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra "bonnevillensis")** 
Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata pusillus) Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata multicaudata)
Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra alexandra) Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra edwardsi)
Juniper Hairstreak (Mitoura siva siva) Juniper Hairstreak (Mitoura siva siva/chalcosiva blend zone)
Great Basin Fritillary (Speyeria egleis utahensis) Great Basin Fritillary (Speyeria egleis linda)
Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia eurynome) Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia mormonia)
Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia maria) Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia wheeleri)
Spring White (Pieris sisymbri sisymbri) Dark-Veined Spring White (Pieris sisymbri nigravenosa)
Utah Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella browningi) Southwestern Orangetip (Anthocharis sara thoosa)

**Papilio indra indra also flies in the Basin and Range Province such as the Oquirrh and Stansbury Ranges.  Papilio indra "bonnevillensis" flies further west in the West Desert Ranges--i.e, Dugway Range, Thomas Range, House Range, etc.

Specific Habitat Locations:

Oquirrh Mts: Cedar Fort Spring Creek

Dugway Pass


Butterfly Species For This Habitat:


Swallowtails (Family Papilionidae)       

Baird's Swallowtail (Papilio bairdi)
Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon nitra)
Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra indra)
          West Desert Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra "bonnevillenis")    
Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus rutulus)
          Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata multicaudata)
Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon)

Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Coronis Fritillary (Speyeria coronis snyderi)
Zerene Fritillary (Speyeria zerene platina)
Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe harmonia)
          Great Basin Fritillary (Speyeria egleis linda)
          Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis chitone)
          Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia mormonia)
Dotted Checkerspot (Poladryas arachne minuta)
Leanira Checkerspot (Thessalia leanira alma)
Sagebrush Checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus acastus)
Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchella camillus)
Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida barnesi)
Thistle Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta mylitta)
          Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia wheeleri)
          Colon Checkerspot (Euphydryas colon nevadensis)
Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus satyrus)
Hoary Comma (Polygonia zephyrus)
California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti furcillata)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
West Coast Lady (Vanessa carye annabella)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta rubria)
          Viceroy (Limenitis archippus lahontani)
Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia)
Arizona Sister (Adelpha bredowi eulalia)

Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Tailed Copper (Lycaena arota schellbachi)
Blue Copper (Lycaena heteronea heteronea)
Purplish Copper (Lycaena dorcas helloides)
Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus citima)
Great Purple Hairstreak (Atlides halesus estesi)
Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus immaculosis)
Behr's Hairstreak (Satyrium behri behri)
California Hairstreak (Satyrium californica)
Sylvan Hairstreak (Satyrium sylvinus putnami)
Hedgerow Hairstreak (Satyrium saepium provo)
Western Green Hairstreak (Callophrys affinis affinis)
Desert Elfin (Incisalia fotis fotis)
Western Pine Elfin (Incisalia eryphon eryphon)
Thicket Hairstreak (Mitoura spinetorum)
Juniper Hairstreak (Mitoura siva chalcosiva)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki)
Western Pygmy-Blue (Brephidium exile)
Western Tailed-Blue (Everes amyntula)
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon echo)
Pallid Dotted-Blue (Euphilotes pallescens pallescens)
Spalding's Dotted-Blue (Euphilotes spaldingi)
Arrowhead Blue (Glaucopsyche piasus daunia)
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus oro)
Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa melissa)
Boisduval's Blue (Plebejus icarioides ardea)
Lupine Blue (Plebejus acmon lutzi)

Milkweed Butterflies (Family Danaidae)

          Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Satyrs (Family Satyridae)

           Great Basin Wood Nymph (Cercyonis sthenele paulus)
  Small Wood Nymph (Cercyonis oetus charon)


Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus clarus)
Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades pylades)
Dreamy Duskywing (Erynnis icelus)
Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo burgessi)
Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus)
Afranius Duskywing (Erynnis afranius)
Small Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus scriptura)
Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
Uncas Skipper (Hesperia uncas lasus)
Juba Skipper (Hesperia juba)
Sandhill Skipper (Polites sabuleti sabuleti)
Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides napa)

Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

Pine White (Neophasia menapia menapia)
Becker's White (Pieris beckeri)
          Dark-Veined Spring White (Pieris sisymbri nigravenosa)
Checkered White (Pieris protodice)
Western White (Pieris occidentalis)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Large Marble (Euchloe ausonides coloradensis)
Desert Marble (Euchloe hyantis lotta)
Southwestern Orangetip (Anthocharis sara thoosa)
Yellow Sulphur (Colias philodice eriphyle)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
          Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra edwardsi)
Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)
Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)

All images of Limenitis weidemeyeri on the ULS Info Bar courtesy Jay Cossey

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