On Jul 26, 2006, Scorpioangel from Gold Hill, OR (Zone 7a) wrote:
Identification: Upperside is bright reddish orange with narrow dark markings. Lacks the prominent black inner marginal spot of Phyciodes pallidus. Underside is yellow-orange with somewhat blurry rusty orange markings.
Caterpillar hosts: Native thistles (Cirsium), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), and European thistles (Carduus).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: From sea level to 8000 feet in mountains, fields, meadows, roads, vacant lots, parks, and fencerows.
Range: Southern British Columbia southeast through the Rocky Mountain region to Mexico; south to Washington, Oregon, and California.
Males perch or patrol all day near host plants for females. Eggs are deposited on underside of host plant leaves; caterpillars eat leaves. Young caterpillars may live in a small silken nest; partially-grown caterpillars hibernate.