Pholisora catullus

Perhaps we should change the common name to "The Formerly-Common Sooty Wing," since this little glossy-black butterfly with a white "face" is now teetering on the edge of regional extinction. On our transect, it was formerly found at all the low-elevation sites but as of 2005 was still present only in West Sacramento. As recently as a decade before this was a "junk species," breeding in vegetable gardens and vacant lots on weedy Pigweeds (genus Amaranthus) and occasionally on the closely-related Cockscomb in flower gardens.