Always single-brooded early in the season, this is a species of rocky, unforested sites including serpentine barrens and the alpine zone. It also occurs on lava flows in Sierra Valley, straying to adjacent roadsides and alfalfa fields. The interrupted vein-lines on the underside of the hindwing are diagnostic, as is the dumbbell-shaped black spot at the end of the forewing cell. Many females are distinctly pale yellow. Higher-altitude specimens average slightly smaller, with crisper and blacker markings than foothill ones. A very infrequent stray to the Sacramento Valley.