The Zephyr butterfly is now known as a Hoary Comma butterfly or a Hoary Anglewing, zephyrus butterfly.

Lushootseed Name for Butterfly:  Click Here to Listen.  

Scientific Name:  Polygonia gracilis

The Hoary Comma have an upper-side that is dark orange and an underside that is greyish-brown.  The butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of currant leaves in spring up until June.

Photo by Univ. of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute

Inside the egg the caterpillar (larva) grows.  The caterpillar eats the leaves of the host plant, in this case, Red Flowering Currants and azaleas.  Once the caterpillar is fully grown, it creates a pupa (chrysalis) – a vessel to protect it from predators.

Butterfly (unknown type) and Chrysalis
Photo by Richard Griffin

Inside this vessel, the caterpillar turns into a butterfly and emerges in July.   The adult feeds on nectar from plants like aster flowers and rabbit brush  They also seek out sapsucker holes in trees to find sap.  They hibernate over the winter.

Photo by Nick Wood

For More information about this butterfly go to the Butterflies and Moths of North America website

Butterflies of Oregon website also has information.