Oregon Silverspot Butterfly

Speyeria zerene hippolyta
Oregon silverspot butterfly rests on a goldenrod bloom/©Mike Patterson

A Finicky Eater 

As a caterpillar it only feeds on the leaves of the early blue violet, a once abundant, now rare coastal plant. As an adult, it feeds on the nectar of coastal grassland plants.

Where Have All the Butterflies Gone? 

Not long ago, visitors to coastal Washington, Oregon and Northern California may have spotted this mid-sized orange, black and brown butterfly with the silver spots. With pressures from human activities and invasions of non-native plant species, there are few remaining native coastal grasslands with early-blue violets. Last seen on the Long Beach Peninsula in 1990, this butterfly is now found only at four sites in Oregon. It was listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1980   

Read more about what the refuge is doing to help the Oregon silverspot butterfly... 

Plant It and They Will Come 

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge is working to restore high-quality butterfly habitat on the Long Beach Peninsula with the help of many partners, including the Oregon Zoo. Invasive plants are removed to make room for violets, sedges and other native coastal plants. These native plants get a hand from refuge biologists who monitor their progress. In the fall of 2012, volunteers will help plant thousands of early blue violets at refuge restoration sites. The long-term goals are to restore coastal meadows and to reintroduce Oregon silverspot butterflies.

Learn more about Oregon silverspot butterfly recovery... 

Facts About Oregon Silverspot Butterfly

No longer found in Washington State

Last recorded on the Long Beach Peninsula in 1990

Caterpillars only eat the leaves of the early blue violet

Named for the silver spots located on the underwings