Butterfly Corner

California Tortoiseshell
By Ann Platzer |

The California Tortoiseshell, or Tortie (Nymphalis californica), in the family Nymphalidae, is a medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of 2 to 2 3/4 inches. The color of the dorsal side of the wings is pumpkin orange with huge black wing borders with slightly scalloped edges. In addition, there are three large, black, irregular shapes along the leading edge of the upper front wing; the outer one is bordered on two sides with white. The ventral side is a dark mottled brown with darker wing bases resembling a dead leaf. What perfect camouflage! 



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