Utah Lepidopterists' Society

Founded 6 Nov 1976

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Utah Habitats for Butterflies and Moths

Wasatch Hilltops--Squaw Peak Road

 

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

Technically speaking, Squaw Peak Road (or Squaw Peak Loop Road) is not Wasatch Mountain Hilltop habitat.  The more accurate description might be termed "mid-elevation Wasatch Mountain habitat."  Nevertheless, Squaw Peak Road is one of Utah Valley's best starting points to get to Wasatch Hilltop habitat.

Squaw Peak Road is a 26 mile loop starting from Provo Canyon and working its way southward before it ends up in Hobble Creek Canyon.  The elevation of its northern starting point in Provo Canyon is a mere 5,000 feet in elevation.  From there, the road climbs as high as 8,400 feet as it passes Kolob Basin Overlook before it begins a gradual descent back to Hobble Creek Canyon.

In order to access Wasatch hilltop habitat from Squaw Peak Road, you need to stop in strategic areas along the road and climb an additional 1-3,000 feet in elevation towards peaks such as Cascade Mountain (10,908 feet,) Provo Peak (11,098 feet) or Corral Mountain (10,220 feet.)  

It is near mountaintops and the summits of these peaks where you can find true Wasatch Mountains hilltopping species such as Parnassius smintheus sayii (holarctic red pearl) and Papilio indra indra (indra swallowtail.)

If mountain climbing is not your fortir, habitat near Squaw Peak Road itself also has several species of butterflies including several species of Speyeria, blues, hairstreaks, and swallowtails.  

As you travel south along Squaw Peak Road towards Horse Mountain, you may find an occasional male Papilio bairdi (baird's swallowtail) hilltopping there as well.  

 

Squaw Peak Loop Road as it approaches Rock Canyon Campground.

The view of Rock Canyon from Squaw Peak Loop Road is breathtaking.

Butterfly Species Checklist For this Habitat:

Swallowtails and Parnassians (Family Papilionidae)       

Baird's Swallowtail (Papilio bairdi)
Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon nitra)
Indra Swallowtail (Papilio indra indra)
Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus rutulus)
Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata pusillus)
Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon)
          Horarctic Red Pearl (Parnassius smintheus sayii)
American Red Pearl (Parnassius clodius menetriesi)

 

Brush-footed Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia)
Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria leto letona)
Coronis Fritillary (Speyeria coronis snyderi)
Zerene Fritillary (Speyeria zerene platina)
Callippe Fritillary (Speyeria callippe harmonia)
Great Basin Fritillary (Speyeria egleis utahensis)
Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis wasatchia)
Mormon Fritillary (Speyeria mormonia eurynome)
Relict Fritillary (Boloria kriemhild kriemhild)
Northern Checkerspot (Chlosyne palla flavula)
Sagebrush Checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus acastus)
Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta)
Field Crescent (Phyciodes pulchella camillus)
Pale Crescent (Phyciodes pallida barnesi)
Thistle Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta mylitta)
Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia maria)
Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus satyrus)
Hoary Comma (Polygonia zephyrus)
Green Comma (Polygonia faunus hylas)
California Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis californica)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis milberti furcillata)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis virginiensis)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
West Coast Lady (Vanessa carye annabella)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta rubria)
Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyeri latifascia)

Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Purplish Copper (Lycaena dorcas helloides)
Lilac-bordered Copper (Lycaena nivalis browni)
Ruddy Copper (Lycaena rubidus sirius)
Blue Copper (Lycaena heteronea heteronea)
 
Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus citima)
Behr's Hairstreak (Satyrium behri behri)
Brown Elfin (Incisalia augustinus annetteae)
Desert Elfin (Incisalia fotis fotis)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus franki)
 
Western Tailed-Blue (Everes amyntula)
Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon echo)
Rocky Mountain Dotted-Blue (Euphilotes enoptes ancilla)
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus oro)
Arrowhead Blue (Glaucopsyche piasus daunia)
Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa melissa)
Boisduval's Blue (Plebejus icarioides ardea)
Lupine Blue (Plebejus acmon lutzi)
Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)

    Metalmarks (Family Riodinidae)

    Mormon Metalmark (Apodemia mormo mormo)
     

    Milkweed Butterflies (Family Danaidae)

    Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

    Satyrs (Family Satyridae)

    Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia brenda)
    Great Basin Wood Nymph (Cercyonis sthenele masoni)
    Small Wood Nymph (Cercyonis oetus charon)
    Chryxus Arctic (Oeneis chryxus chryxus)

     

     

              
     

     

    Skippers (Family Hesperiidae)

    Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades pylades)
    Mexican Cloudywing (Thorybes mexicana)
    Dreamy Duskywing (Erynnis icelus)
    Sleepy Duskywing (Erynnis brizo burgessi)
    Rocky Mountain Duskywing (Erynnis telemachus)
              Pacuvius Duskywing (Erynnis pacuvius lilius)
    Persius Duskywing (Erynnis persius fredericki)
    Two-banded Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus ruralis)
    Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
     
    Russet Skipperling (Piruna pirus)
    Garita Skipperling (Oarisma garita)
    Juba Skipper (Hesperia juba)
    Western Branded Skipper (Hesperia colorado harpalus)
    Draco Skipper (Polites draco)
    Woodland Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides napa)
          
    Taxiles Skipper (Poanes taxiles)
    Common Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis)

    Whites, Orange-Tips and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

    Spring White (Pieris sisymbri sisymbri)
    Checkered White (Pieris protodice)
    Western White (Pieris occidentalis)
    Utah All White (Pieris marginalis pallidisima)
    Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
     
    Large Marble (Euchloe ausonides coloradensis)
    Utah Stella Orangetip (Anthocharis stella browningi)
     
    Yellow Sulphur (Colias philodice eriphyle)
    Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
    Western Sulphur (Colias occidentalis pseudochristina) = wasatchia
     

     

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

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