Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1/2 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm). Small. Upperside rusty orange, with dark fringes that are not checkered. Underside brighter orange. Thorax is orange with dark bands.

ID Tip: Tiny, orange butterfly with metallic bands. 

Egg: Redish-brown. Unique, pitted turban shape. Eggs are typically laid on the first-year, basal rosettes of host plants.

Caterpillar: Long, wispy-white hairs look back-combed. Older caterpillars chew a distinctive windowpane pattern in host leaves.  Partially grown larvae overwinter.

Chrysalis: Larval hairs are included in the formation; looks distinctly hairy. Often attached to the underside of host plant leaves.   

Little Metalmarks are reminiscent of small moths: low-flying and sedentary, they are easy to overlook.  They are partial to yellow, daisy shaped flowers when nectaring, and seldom venture far from their host plants.  Several generations are produced each year, but Little Metalmarks are tightly brooded, so significant gaps may exist between flights.

Distribution and Abundance

A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat.

The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.

The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.

The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to albutterflyatlas@gmail.com.

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Covington

  • Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Sightings more than 10 years ago
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
15 3 1 1 11 7 20 51 5 5

Habitat

Pine savannas, pitcher plant bogs, and flatwoods in open, grassy areas.

Host and Nectar Plants

Horrid Thistle (Cirsium horridulum) is widely reported in nearby states but Little Metalmarks have not been found to use it in Alabama, although the possibility exists that some populations may. 

This plant has been verified in Alabama: Vanilla Leaf/ Deer’s Tongue (Trilisa odoratissima). 

For more information about the documented host plants and/or nectar plants, please visit the Alabama Plant Atlas using the following links:

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