Quino checkerspot butterfly
Euphydryas editha quino

Status: Federally Endangered

quino   quino habitat

The quino checkerspot butterfly occupies a small geographic range in select areas of southern California and northern Mexico. It is found in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and Imperial Counties. The quino checkerspot butterfly has a unique life habit, being that caterpillar go through diapause and can last through several seasons.  A good rain year in 2017 might not necessarily mean a good flight season; it may not be until 2018 or 2019 that the caterpillars from 2017 emerge as butterflies. Read more about the quino checkerspot butterfly life cycle here.

Suitable Habitat

Determine suitable habitat for the quino checkerspot butterfly is usually done before surveys begin, and can continue to be refined once surveys have commenced.  Understanding what makes habitat suitable can keep your project moving forward and not over-extending the budget.

Quino tend to reside in open margins of scrub habitat where dominant plant species may include California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), and non-native/native grasslands where the thatch is not too thick.  They prefer mafic solics with cryptogrammic crust, but they can be found elsewhere too.  There must be larval host plant and suitable nectar sources nearby in order support this species.

Field observations indicate that quino checkerspot butterflies larvae on only a few plants, including Plantago erecta, P. patagonica, Antirrhinum coulterianum, Cordylanthus rigidus and/or Castilleja exserta.  On the wing, quino checkerspot butterfles nectar on a variety of spring wildflowers, including Lasthenia californica, Linanthus dianthoflorus, Cryptantha sp., Plagiobothrys sp., and Amsickia species.

Quino checkerspot butterfly USFWS Survey Protocol & Requirements (updated 2014)

Official Survey Protocol from USFWS can be found here.  Do NOT use this protocol from USFWS.  The official USFWS site links to it, but it is the old survey protocol and it is incorrect as of 2014.

Critical Habitat Information

Information on Critical Habitat is here.

More Images

More images can be seen here.

More resources

USFWS QCB Minimum Qualifications

San Diego County QCB Management Plan (2003)

SDNHM QCB Collection Visit Information

Center for Biological Diversity Species Account