The Baltimore Checkerspot is one of the most distinctive butterfly species in Wisconsin and is unlikely to be confused with any other butterfly. It is always a pleasure to see fresh Baltimore Checkerspots flying through the wet meadows where their primary host plant Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) is found. Baltimore Checkerspots are fairly easy to coax onto your hand from a good nectar source, and I am always amazed at how small they appear up close as compared to seeing them flying.
Weekly sightings for Baltimore Checkerspot
A black butterfly with a row of orange spots on the margins of both wings, several rows of white submarginal spots, and a few orange and white spots nearer the body. Below this is the only one of the twenty True Brushfoots in Wisconsin that looks very similar both above and below.
None in Wisconsin.
Open wet meadows where its host plant turtlehead grows, and adjacent uplands where it may often be found nectaring on black-eyed susan, milkweeds, thistles, or other nectar sources. The turtlehead generally blooms only after the Baltimore Checkerspot is finished flying, which may complicate your search.
One brood. Found from late June to late July.
Often very abundant where it is found. In an NABA butterfly count in Trempealeau County in 2004, we saw over 200 of these butterflies in a rather small area.
Muir Park SNA, Marquete Co., WI. July 11, 2004.
Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI. July 5, 1999.
Puchyan Prairie SNA, Green Lake Co., WI. July 2, 2004.
Germania Marsh, Marquette Co., WI. July 19, 1999.
Swamp Rd., DNR land North of Wautoma, Waushara Co., WI.