Oeneis nevadensis

Oeneis nevadensis, males

Oeneis nevadensis is a butterfly ( butterfly ) of the family Nymphalidae ( Nymphalidae ).

  • 5.1 Notes and references
  • 5.2 Literature



The wingspan of the butterfly is 57 to 63 millimeters. They are among the largest Oeneis species. Front and rear wings have on the top of a yellow-brown to reddish-brown color. In the Submarginalregion the front upper wing surface usually pick up two black ocelli. In parallel to the front edge is located in the males a darkened area, which is formed from scent scales, ranging from the wing root to just before the apex. The top of the rear wing is provided with a black eye patch, but this can also be entirely absent. The undersides of the forewings are yellow -brown, the eye-spots of the upper side shine through. On the hindwing underside is dominated by a blackish marbling, which is interrupted at the edge of some white spots.


Full-grown caterpillars are usually greenish and with whitish and brownish side lines. However, there also appear reddish-brown specimens with dark brown longitudinal stripes. The body is forked at the end.

Similar Species

Oeneis macounii differs by less white drawing elements on the hindwing underside. The males also lack the dark scent scales on the forewing upper side. The range of the species also extends further to the east, so there is no geographical overlap of the two species.

Distribution and occurrence

Main distribution area of the species is the Cascade Range from southern British Columbia to northern California. There is also an occurrence at the southern tip of Vancouver Iceland. Oeneis nevadensis populated mountainous areas, rocky meadows, rubble and scree slopes and canyons.


The following sub- types can be distinguished:

  • Oeneis nevadensis navadensis (C. Felder & R. Felder, 1867) in southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and northern California
  • Oeneis nevadensis gigas ( Butler, 1868) on Vancouver Iceland
  • Oeneis nevadensis iduna ( Edwards, 1874) in coastal areas of California

Way of life

The moths fly in one generation depending on the altitude from late May to mid-July. The food plants of the caterpillars are currently unknown. In breeding different grasses are accepted. Because the species occurs in mountainous areas with only short periods of heat and nutrient-poor vegetation, it takes two years to develop. The caterpillars overwinter in the first second or third and the second time in the fifth instar. Due to this development cycle, the moths appear numerous in even years.