The California dogface butterfly (Zerene eurydice) is a unique and fascinating species found exclusively in Central and Southern California. Its limited range and distinctive appearance have earned it the status of the official state insect of California since 1972.

Preferring wooded areas in the Santa Ana Mountains. the California dogface butterfly is highly selective when it comes to its habitat. Adult butterflies primarily feed on nectar from purple flowers such as thistles. Female butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on false indigo plants. and the caterpillars feed on the vegetation until they enter the pupal stage.

The male California dogface butterfly is known for its striking wing pattern. which resembles the face of a dog. The upper pair of wings. known as forewings. display a combination of yellow-orange coloration and black sections. On the other hand. the female butterflies are entirely yellow. with a single dark spot on each forewing.

Due to its unique wing pattern. the California dogface butterfly is highly sought after by nature photographers. However. capturing a photograph of this species can be challenging. These butterflies are incredibly fast and rarely keep their wings open for an extended period. making it difficult to observe them in detail or photograph them. They usually remain still only when they are drinking nectar from flowers. which makes encountering them in their natural habitat a rare and beautiful sight.

The California dogface butterfly’s status as the official state insect of California highlights its significance and emblematic role in the region’s natural heritage. Its limited distribution and captivating appearance make it a cherished symbol of California’s unique biodiversity and a source of inspiration for nature enthusiasts and conservationists alike.


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California 2019 Dogface USPS First-Class Forever Stamps

1000 in stock