This is a spring butterfly of the far north that I finally was able to see and photograph in 2008. Although it is found throughout the northern counties, the short flight period of this butterfly and the limited distribution in Wisconsin makes it a difficult butterfly to observe. David Bratley of Washburn, WI reports seeing it regularly each year in Bayfield County. He commented very accurately that in flight this species looks very much like a Meadow Fritillary, with which it might be flying; I could easily see how someone might not even notice this species if both were present.
Weekly sightings for Chryxus Arctic
Below, the hindwing is a mottled dark brown with a various shades of white. In the forewing there may be some lighter orange color and a small eyespot. Above, this species is orange with two to four eyespots on the forewing and at least one small one on the hindwing. Some individuals of the Chryxus Arctic have much more obvious darker bands. The one distinctive characteristic is the median line on the forewing below that has a pointed extension towards under the eyespot. This is not present on the other Arctics.
Below, the Jutta Arctic looks somewhat similar, but the habitat of these two species is vastly different, with the Chryxus Arctic being found in dry barren habitats and the Jutta being found in bogs, so it is unlikely that one would be seen together with the other. The Jutta Arctic is also somewhat larger than this species.
As noted above, since it looks somewhat light orange in flight, it may be mistaken for a small Fritillary on the wing.
Jack Pine barrens and open ridges.
One brood from mid-May to mid-June.
This species can become somewhat abundant where found, but its flight period is not very long in any one area.
Early Chryxus Arctic Sightings
|Apr 28, 2010||Bayfield||Eric North|
|May 3, 2012||Vilas||Kyle Johnson|
|May 5, 2015||Bayfield||Ryan Brady|
|May 8, 2016||Marinette||Scott and Ann Swengel|
|May 9, 2010||Bayfield||Ryan Brady|
Moquah Barrens, Bayfield Co., WI. May 24, 2009.