Coenonympha tullia california

Common Name
California Ringlet

This very pale-colored Ringlet is still abundant in foothill woodland, breeding in grassland intermittently up to 5000', but seems to be in precipitous decline in the Sacramento Valley where it went extinct at North Sacramento and is "on the edge" in Rancho Cordova. There are two very different-looking broods. The spring brood (March-May) is somewhat silvery above and the basal half of the hindwing is intemnsely melanized below (for thermoregulation, we assume). The second brood emerges in May-June, enters reproductive diapause and estivates until September-October, when it reemerges to breed. These butterflies are pale buff, the color of dry grass!, and show little basal-distal contrast below. The life cycle is thus quite different from that of the Great Basin or East Slope Ringlet just across the crest; but the two intergrade north of our area, as at Portola.

Hosts perennial grasses; preferences unknown. Adults are rather inconspicuous, unenthusiastic flower visitors, and do not puddle.