Species Page: Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)

Southern Dogface

Zerene cesonia (Stoll, 1790)

Family: Pieridae

Status: Stray / Possibly an uncommon resident.

NENHP Ranking: S3 Tier 2

Range: This species is a resident in Argentina north to the southern states in the U. S. From there it strays north (to the Canadian border in eastern areas). There are widespread records from throughout the state in Nebraska.

Larval Hostplant(s): Herbaceous legumes, of which False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa) is supposedly preferred, with some plants in the genera Medicago, Dalea, Petalostemon and Trifolium also utilized to a lesser extent.

Broods/Flight Times: At least two broods. It has been found here from early April to mid-October.

Overwintering: As adults farther south, maybe occasionally in Nebraska but few populations at most sites last no more than a few years.

Habitat:  Adults have been found in a variety of habitats ranging from riparian areas to loess hills.

Avg. Wingspan: 2 1/8 – 3 inches

Found at: Niobrara Valley Preserve, Box Elder, Little Blue, Harold Anderson & Gilbert Baker SWMAs, Indian Cave SP, Ash Hollow SHP, Harlan County Reservoir, Sidney I-80 East Rest Stop, Scotia Chalk Mine

Similar Species:

Notes: We know of no permanent populations. When found at a location this butterfly may linger a few years and then disappear. Southern Dogfaces were found at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in 1985-86 and Box Elder SWMA from 2010-2014 but has not been seen at either area since.

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