Phyciodes campestris campestris

The low-altitude subspecies of P. campestris (also called P. pratensis and P. pulchellus) occurs in local colonies in the Sacramento Valley and Delta and in the Coast Range, but only barely ascends the Sierran West slope. It is "capped" by a "no man's land" where no members of the species occur, and above that the endemic montane P. c. montana. Nominate campestris and montana intergrade in the Feather River Country (formerly including Sierra Valley).

Phyciodes campestris campestris/montana

In the upper Feather River drainage occur highly variable populations phenotypically intermediate between Phyciodes campestris campestris and the endemic high-Sierran P. c. montana. The population of this complex in Sierra Valley was formerly one of these, but it went extinct for unknown reasons. Today we find-rather uncommonly-a montana-type animal in the same area. The metropolis of the intergrading populations now seems to be the vicinity of Caribou Road, near Highway 70, where every conceivable intermediate phenotype can be taken.

Phyciodes campestris inornatus

This is a relatively pale entity with broader median yellow band characteristic of the western Great Basin and Northeastern California populations found with Aster along watercourses in sage brush steppe. It appeared and apparently bred in Sierra Valley in 2008 in a different location from P. c. montana. It is the only P. campestris found between Beckwourth Pass and Hallelujah Junction, a few miles northeast of our Sierra Valley site.

Phyciodes campestris montana

Abundant in the Sierra Nevada from about 4000' to tree-line; occasionally lower in canyons with cold-air drainage (as at Washington). There is a "no-man's land" in the foothills occupied by neither P. campestris campestris nor P. c. montana. In northwestern and northeastern California, north of the range of P. c. montana, P. c. campestris goes right up to tree-line! The northern end of the range of the Sierran-endemic entity montana is occupied by a swarm of intermediate and highly variable populations throughout the Feather River drainage.

Phyciodes mylitta

An abundant, weedy species found at all sites on the transect, though it may not be a permanent resident. The Mylitta Crescent breeds on Thistles. It originally used native species of Cirsium, probably mostly in wet habitats. With the naturalization of weedy European species of Cirsium, Carduus and Silybum, it is now found in all kinds of disturbed (including urban) habitats.

Phyciodes orseis herlani

The Sierra Nevada subspecies, herlani, of the California Crescent is uncommon and spottily distributed, but its lack of highly visible distinguishing characteristics may result in it being seriously underreported. It almost always co-occurs with the much commoner Mylitta (P. mylitta) and Montana (P.