Compton Tortoiseshell

photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson CC BY-SA

Compton Tortoiseshell butterflies (2-3 in wingspan) are found in the northern United States and across Canada south of the tundra. The upper surface of the wings is orange-brown with black spots and a thin black band with gold spots along the edges. The under surface is a light gray-brown with a dark border.

Compton Tortoiseshell are found in forests where the caterpillars (pale green and speckled with black spines) feed on the leaves of Aspen, Cottonwood, Willow, and Birch. The adult butterflies feed on sap, rotting fruit, and the nectar of Willow flowers.

Did you know? Compton Tortoiseshell can be found in cottage country where the adults overwinter in tree cavities, under eaves, or in garages and outhouses.

See Also: Azure Butterfly, Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar, Cabbage White, Clouded Sulphur, Great Spangled Fritillary, Hawk Moth, Monarch Butterfly, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, Tent Caterpillar, Tiger Swallowtail