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Uhler’s Arctic

Oeneis uhleri, Reakirt, 1866

Subfamily Satyrinae

Taxonomy

 

The family Nymphalidae is the largest butterfly family and includes about 6,000 species which are further divided up into 12 subfamilies.  The common name for the family is the Brushfoots or Brushfooted Butterflies.  This strange name is because the first pair of legs are significantly reduced, sometimes to mere stubs, and look like little brushes.  Some of the most common and well known species are in this group such as the Monarch, Red Admiral, Blue Morpho and Painted Lady.  Some of the longest lived butterflies are in this family with some species living over 10 months as adults.  The Brushfoots are distributed worldwide, with the highest diversity found in the tropics.  With this variety, there is also quite a difference in behavior, adult food choices and habitat preference from species to species.

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Oeneis uhleri, Square Butte, Little Missouri National Grassland, Golden Valley County, North Dakota, 16 May 2004                                                            Ref #:  I-236-1.6

Oeneis uhleri, Square Butte, Little Missouri National Grassland, Golden Valley County, North Dakota, 16 May 2004                                                            Ref #:  I-239-7.2

Oeneis uhleri, Square Butte, Little Missouri National Grassland, Golden Valley County, North Dakota, 7 May 2004                                                             Ref #:  I-233-6.5

Oeneis uhleri, Square Butte, Little Missouri National Grassland, Golden Valley County, North Dakota, 16 May 2004                                                            Ref #:  I-236-8.5

General Information:

 

Oeneis uhleri belongs to the subfamily Satyrinae.  This species is found from northeast Alaska, Yukon and western Northwest territories then central Alberta south through the Rocky Mountains to northern New Mexico and east through the Canadian prairie provinces to western Minnesota.  Its preferred habitat includes slopes in dry, open bunchgrass habitats, tundra and openings in pine forest.

Lifecycle:

 

The larval food source includes various grasses and sedges. To find females, males perch and occasionally patrol below ridge crests in bunch-grass habitat.  Females lay eggs singly on grasses and sedges.  Fourth instar caterpillars hibernate, emerge in the spring to feed again, and pupate just under the soil.

Oeneis uhleri, Square Butte, Little Missouri National Grassland, Golden Valley County, North Dakota, 16 May 2004                                                          Ref #:  I-240-15.7