The Quino checkerspot butterfly inhabits openings on clay soils within or in the vicinity of shrublands, grasslands, meadows, vernal pools, and lake margins. Its presence is closely tied to its larval host plant, dwarf plantain (Plantago erecta) or owl’s clover (Orthocarpus purpurescens).
The lands surrounding Sweetwater Reservoir were historically "host spots" for the Quino checkerspot. In particular, the species was found abundant on Sweetwater Hill in the vicinity of Sweetwater Dam .
The species is currently in danger of extinction due to habitat loss, displacement of larval food plants, type conversion of native habitats by non-native grasses and forbs, fire management (suppression) practices, grazing, competition by exotic invertebrates (earwigs and sowbugs).
It was listed as Federally Endangered in 1997.
Photo copyrighted, do not reproduce.
Photo by Anthony Mercieca©