Polygonia faunus

Usually uncommon. A species of cool, mesic forest, best recognized by its very irregular wing margins and by the green lichen-simulating markings on the underside of all wings in the male. The female is rather uniform, dull gray below. As usual in Polygonia, hibernates as an adult. It is not clear whether it has one generation a year or perhaps (in some localities) two. Rarely seen at flowers; yellow Composites and Aster are most frequently cited.

Polygonia satyrus

Strongly seasonally dimorphic, this is our only Polygonia found on the floor of the Central Valley as well as in the hills to mid-elevation. The wood-brown underside is diagnostic. Virtually limited to riparian habitat and tule marsh, near its host (Urtica holosericea, the common tall, native stinging nettle), but usually scarce to rare, and in retreat from civilization. Adults hibernate; a new brood in late spring-early summer and another in August-September (hibernators). Males territorial in sunflecks at or near ground level.

Polygonia zephyrus

The commonest and most widespread Polygonia, occurring at Gates Canyon and all the Sierran sites. As usual, it hibernates as an adult, appearing quite soon after snowmelt in the mountains and as early as late winter at Gates. We suspect this name includes two biological species in the Sierra Nevada, one of which arrives by upslope migration in late spring in the high country while hibernators are still common; there are subtle phenotypic differences. Who will do the molecules?