Gorgone Checkerspot

Chlosyne gorgone

The Gorgone Checkerspot is listed as a species of special concern in Wisconsin. This species is a Great Plains butterfly and is not common east of the Mississippi River, but is more common in Wisconsin than any other eastern state. It is more likely to be found in abundance than other Crescents and Checkerspots; on multiple occasions, I have seen over 50 in a 20×20′ area, including the last image showing 42 Gorgone Checkerspots searching for nutrients on horse dung.

Weekly sightings for Gorgone Checkerspot

Identifying characteristics

Above, this species is orange and black, with the orange postmedian band on the hindwing completely surrounded with black and with dark marks in the middle of most of the cells. The median band is very distinct on both pairs of wings and makes an obvious letter C from the side. They also usually have some white crescents apparent in the wing margins. Below, this species is very distinctive, with arrowhead shaped crescents in the marginal and median rows. There is some orange on the forewing, but the hindwing is mainly brown and white.

Similar species

This species is basically orange and black above and, in flight, could easily be confused with many of Wisconsin’s other Crescents or Checkerspots. Resting, it is most likely to be confused with a Silvery Checkerspot from above, but looks very much different below, with the Silvery Checkerspot having a very prominent white large white cell in the middle of the hindwing margin and also a median row of white oval shaped cells, and no arrow-shaped white crescents as in the Gorgone Checkerspot.

Habitat

Dry fields and prairies, including barren habitats.

Flight

Two broods. The first brood usually appears in late May or early June, with the second generation appearing sometime in July or August.

Abundance

This species is not common in Wisconsin and is listed as a rare butterfly by the Wisconsin DNR, but the Gorgone Checkerspot can become fairly abundant where it appears, and may congregate in fairly large groups to nectar or find nutrients.

Recent Gorgone Checkerspot Sightings

Date County Reported by
Jul 16, 2017 Monroe Dan & Doreen Sonnenberg
Jul 15, 2017 Fond du Lac NABA Butterfly Count a...
Jul 12, 2017 Dunn Pam Campbell
Jul 11, 2017 Trempealeau NABA Trempealeau Butte...
Jul 11, 2017 Monroe Douglas Buege

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Gorgone Checkerspot
Map key
Gorgone CheckerspotClick to enlarge

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI. May 21, 2005.

Gorgone CheckerspotClick to enlarge

Waumandee Creek Farm, Buffalo Co., WI. July 15, 2005.

Gorgone CheckerspotClick to enlarge

South of Coloma, Waushara Co., WI. May 31, 2004.

Gorgone CheckerspotClick to enlarge

West of Wazee Park, Jackson Co., WI. May 21, 2005.

Gorgone CheckerspotClick to enlarge

42 butterflies on horse dung

North Kettle Moraine, Fond du lac Co., WI. July 15, 2002.