Butterflies of California (Continued)
Comstock, John A.
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Two species of these interesting mountain butterflies occur within the boundaries of our state, each of which is represented by a number of well defined varieties. There is a close similarity in all their habits. They are found at their best on the high upland meadows or sporting over precipitous mountain sides in the warmer hours of the day. One may take them easily while engaged in feeding on the numerous alpine flowers, though they are difficult to capture on the wing owing to the rough contour of the country which they usually frequent. <br /><br />A peculiarity of this group of butterflies is the pouch carried on the abdomen of the female after she has mated. This brittle appendage is formed during copulation. Figure 8 of plate V illustrates this remarkable attachment. By its presence one may distinguish fertile from virgin females. <br /><br />The eggs of the Parnassians are turban shaped, somewhat flattened and are covered with minute elevations. They are laid on various species of Sedum and Saxifraga. The caterpillars are flattened, and have very small heads. In color they are a dark brown or black, with numerous light spots. Pupation occurs on the ground, and the chrysalis is relatively short, and rounded at the head. When preparing to pupate the larva spins a few loose threads among the ground litter.