Utah Lepidopterists' Society

Founded 6 Nov 1976

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Utah Habitats for Butterflies and Moths

Wasatch Canyons--Farmington Canyon



1. Wasatch Canyons

2. Wasatch Valley Riparian

3. Wasatch Valley Meadows

4. Wasatch Hilltops

5. Arctic Alpine

6. Basin & Range Province

7. Canyon Country

8. Montane

9. Utah's Dixie


Farmington Canyon is a pristine canyon located just Northeast of Farmington City along Skyline drive.  Farmington Canyon offers a variety of butterfly species flying at different times of the spring and summer as the canyon works its way through a few thousand feet in elevation along Farmington Creek.  Farmington Canyon Road (Skyline Drive) also links up with roads which head towards Francis Peak and Bountiful Peak.  

During March, some of the species you may find flying in Farmington Canyon on a sunny, 50+ degree day include some of our overwintering nymphalids such as the Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica), Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti furcillata), Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus satyrus), and/or Hoary Comma (Polygonia zephyrus).

One of the first emergees of spring in early April is Callophrys sheridani neoperplexa (Sheridan's Green Hairstreak). It can be found in isolated pockets near just past the mouth of the canyon in association with its hostplant, Eriogonum heracleoides.  Soon to follow is the Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki) and the Rocky Mountain Dotted-Blue (Euphilotes ancilla).  During the warmth of mid-April, several butterfly species of swallowtails, blues, and whites emerge, also begin to fly.  These species include the Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon nitra,) Spring White (Pontia sisymbri sisymbri,) Utah Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella browningi,) Large Marble (Euchloe ausonides coloradensis,) Yellow Sulphur (Colias philodice eriphyle,) Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus oro,) Spring Azure, (Celastrina ladon echo) and Thistle Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta mylitta.)   Because of the extensive outcropping of rocks in nearby cliffs in Farmington Canyon, the Utah Stella Orange-tip flies well because of the species of Arabis that grow there and within the scrub oak. 

Towards the end of April, skippers such as the Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo burgessi,) Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus,) the Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis,) and the Juba Skipper (Hesperia juba) start flying.

Other species that start flying in early May, whose males do fly right along this dry canyon are the Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata pusillus,) Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa melissa,) Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchellus camillus.)  

Many of these same species of April butterflies can be seen flying in May and into June towards the upper portion of Farmington Canyon at higher elevation.

Towards the end of May, other species that may start flying along the canyon is the Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus rutulus,) Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki,) Coronis Fritillary (Speyeria coronis snyderi,) Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe harmonia,) Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui,) Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta rubria,) Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia,) and the Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia brenda.)

Junction of Francis Peak Road (above) from Farmington Canyon Road (below)

During the month of June, other species of fritillaries begin to fly such as the Great Basin Fritillary (Speyeria egleis utahensis,) Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis wasatchia,) which fly along with the Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta cocyta.)  In July, at higher elevations, the Hydaspe Fritillary, (Speyeria hydaspe sakantula) and Letona Fritillary (Speyeria cybele letona) fly as well.


Butterfly Species Checklist For Farmington Canyon:

Swallowtails and Parnassians (Family Papilionidae)       

Papilio eurymedon (pale swallowtail)
Papilio indra indra (indra swallowtail)
Papilio multicaudata pusillus (two-tailed swallowtail)
Papilio rutulus rutulus (western tiger swallowtail)
Papilio zelicaon nitra (anise swallowtail)
Parnassius clodius menetriesi (american red pearl)


Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Euptoieta claudia (variegated fritillary)
Speyeria cybele letona (letona fritillary)
Speyeria coronis snyderi (coronis fritillary)
Speyeria zerene platina (zerene fritillary)
Speyeria callippe harmonia (callippe fritillary)
Speyeria egleis utahensis (great basin fritillary)
Speyeria hesperis wasatchia (northwestern fritillary)
Speyeria hydaspe sakantula (hydaspe fritillary)
Chlosyne palla flavula (northern checkerspot)
Phyciodes cocyta cocyta (northern crescent)
Phyciodes pulchellus camillus (field crescent)
Phyciodes mylitta mylitta (thistle crescent)
Euphydyras anicia maria (variable checkerspot)
Polygonia satyrus satyrus (satyr comma)
Polygonia zephyrus (hoary comma)
Nymphalis antiopa (mourning cloak)
Nymphalis californica (california tortoiseshell)
Nymphalis milberti furcillata (milbert's tortoiseshell)
          Vanessa cardui (painted lady)
Vanessa carye annabella (west coast lady)
Vanessa atalanta rubria (red admiral)
Junonia coenia coenia (common buckeye)
Limenitis weidemeyeri weidemeyeri (weidemeyer's admiral)
Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia (weidemeyer's admiral)
Adelpha eulalia (arizona sister)

Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Lycaena rubidus sirius (ruddy copper)
Lycaena dorcas helloides (purplish copper)
Hypaurotis crysalus citima (colorado hairstreak)
Satyrium behri behri (behr's hairstreak)
Satyrium saepium provo (hedgerow hairstreak)
Callophrys sheridani neoperplexa (sheridan's green hairstreak)
Incisalia augustinus annetteae (brown elfin)
Strymon melinus franki (gray hairstreak)
Euphilotes ancilla (rocky mountain dotted-blue)
Cupido amyntula (western tailed blue)
Celastrina ladon echo (spring azure)
Glaucopsyche lygdamus oro (silvery blue)
Plebejus icarioides ardea (boisduval's blue)
Plebejus lupini lutzi (lupine blue)

Metalmarks (Family Riodinidae)

Apodemia mormo mormo (mormon metalmark)

Milkweed Butterflies (Family Danaidae)

Danaus plexippus (monarch)

Satyrs (Family Satyridae)

Coenonympha tullia brenda (common ringlet) 
Cercyonis oetus charon (small wood nymph)


Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

Thorybes pylades pylades (northern cloudywing)
Erynnis icelus (dreamy duskywing)
Erynnis brizo burgessi (sleepy duskywing)
Erynnis telemachus (rocky mountain duskywing)
Erynnis pacuvius lilius (pacuvius duskywing)
Erynnis persius fredericki (persius duskywing)
Pyrgus communis (common checkered-skipper)
Piruna pirus (russet skipperling)
Oarisma garita (garita skipperling)
Hesperia juba (juba skpper)
Hesperia colorado harpalus (western branded skipper)
Ochlodes sylvanoides napa (woodland skipper)
Poanes taxiles (taxiles skipper)

Whites, Orange-Tips and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

Pontia sisymbri sisymbri (spring white)
          Pontia protodice (checkered white)         
Pontia occidentalis (western white)
Pieris marginalis pallidissima (utah all white)
Pieris rapae (cabbage white)
Euchloe ausonides coloradensis (large marble)
Anthocharis stella browningi (utah stella orangetip)
Colias philodice eriphyle (yellow sulphur)
Colias eurytheme (orange sulphur)
Nathalis iole (dainty sulphur)

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

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