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California Dogface


The California Dogface butterfly is a beautiful yellow butterfly with interesting black markings on the topside of the forewings that form the outline of a dog's head. However, this butterfly usually lands with its wings closed, so you don't often get to see these markings. Another way to identify this butterfly is to look for a point at the upper rear tip of the forewing. Also, both wings often have a thin pinkish outline. The undersides of the wings are yellow on the male and yellow-green on the female.

The California Dogface butterfly prefers open areas among the forests and woodlands. We usually observe them on sunny days in areas where a stream is nearby. We have seen them in the San Gabriel Mountains and Foothills, the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests and often in neighborhoods and other populated areas. It is the official state insect of California. For a list of sightings of this butterfly, you can view our Sightings and Observations Log and search on "California Dogface".

The California Dogface butterfly has a wingspan up to approximately 2-1/4 inches.

There's a great California Dogface butterfly video on YouTube.

SubFamily: Sulpher.

Field Notes

In the fall of 2011 we saw over 30 California Dogface butterflies at the Oak Glen Preserve.

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