Utah Lepidopterists' Society

Founded 6 Nov 1976

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Utah Habitats for Butterflies and Moths

Utah's Dixie--Leeds Canyon

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

One of the more picturesque canyons in Utah's Dixie that demonstrates a subtle transition from Dixie Corridor to Montane is Leeds Creek or Leeds Canyon.

The mouth of Leeds Canyon (3900') contains navajo sandstone ridges with a desert community of common trees and shrubs such as Larrea tridenta (creosote bush), Juniperus osteosperma (utah juniper), Quercus turbinella (permanent oak), Populus fremontii (cottonwood), and Prunus fasciculata (desert almond).  Some of the butterflies that you might find at the lower area of Leeds Creek include Callophrys siva siva (juniper hairstreak), Nymphalis antiopa (mourning cloak), Anthocharis cethura pima (desert orangetip), Anthocharis sara thoosa (southwestern orangetip), Adelpha eulalia (arizona sister), Brephidium exilis (pygmy blue), Euphydryas anicia hermosa (anicia checkerspot), Cyllopsis pertepida dorothea (canyonlands satyr), and Erynnis meridianus (meridian duskywing).

As you proceed up the canyon heading east towards Oak Grove Campground; approaching the Pine Valley Mountains, the desert community transitions from creosote shadscale scrub to pinyon juniper.   At the same time, as you proceed up the canyon, Quercus turbinella is replaced by Quercus gambellii; Penstemon palmeri is replaced by Penstemon eatonii; and Lomatium parryi (parry lomatium) is replaced by a small population of  Lomatium scabrum tripinnatum (cliff lomatium).  

One of the species of butterflies that is found more commonly in the higher portion of Leeds Canyon at Oak Grove Campground is Papilio bairdi (baird's swallowtail) as well as Phyciodes pallida barnesi (pale crescent.)

Breathtaking vista from lower Leeds Canyon looking back towards the southeast where you can see plateau habitat in the background including West Temple from Zion National Park.


Butterfly Species Checklist For this Habitat:

Swallowtails and Parnassians (Family Papilionidae)       

Baird's Swallowtail (Papilio bairdi)
          Navajo Sandstone Cliff Swallowtail (Papilio indra calcicola)          
Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus rutulus)
          Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata multicaudata)

Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

American Snout (Libytheana carinenta larvata)
          Nokomis Fritillary (Speyeria nokomis apacheana)
Coronis Fritillary (Speyeria coronis snyderi)
          Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis chitone)
Dotted Checkerspot (Poladryas arachne minuta)
Leanira Checkerspot (Thessalia leanira alma)
          Desert Checkerspot (Chlosyne neumoegeni neumoegeni)
Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchella camillus)
Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida barnesi)
Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia hermosa)
Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus satyrus)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
West Coast Lady (Vanessa carye annabella)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta rubria)
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia)
Arizona Sister (Adelpha bredowi eulalia)

Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Desert Elfin (Incisalia fotis fotis)
Juniper Hairstreak (Mitoura siva chalcosiva)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki)
Western Pygmy-Blue (Brephidium exile)
Marine Blue (Leptotes marina)
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon echo)
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus oro)
Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa melissa)
Boisduval's Blue (Plebejus icarioides ardea)
Lupine Blue (Plebejus acmon lutzi)

    Metalmarks (Family Riodinidae)

    Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo mormo)

    Milkweed Butterflies (Family Danaidae)

    Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
    Queen (Danaus gilippus thersippus)

    Satyrs (Family Satyridae)

    Canyonland Satyr (Cyllopsis pertepida dorothea) 
    Small Wood Nymph (Cercyonis oetus charon)





    Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

    Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo burgessi)
    Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus)
    Meridian Duskywing (Erynnis meridianus)
    Small Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus scriptura)
    Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
    Northern White-Skipper (Heliopetes ericetorum)
    Western Branded Skipper (Hesperia colorado harpalus)
              Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides omnigena)
    Mojave Giant-Skipper (Agathymus alliae paiute)
    Yucca Giant-Skipper (Megathymus yuccae coloradensis)

    Whites, Orange-Tips and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

              Dark-Veined Spring White (Pieris sisymbri nigravenosa)
    Checkered White (Pieris protodice)
    Western White (Pieris occidentalis)
    Utah All White (Pieris marginalis pallidisima)
    Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
    Desert Marble (Euchloe hyantis lotta)
    Desert Orangetip (Anthocharis cethura pima)
    Southwestern Orangetip (Anthocharis sara thoosa)
    Yellow Sulphur (Colias philodice eriphyle)
    Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
    Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)
    Sleepy Orange (Eurema nicippe)
    Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole)


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

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