Courtship, copulation and oviposition in the chalcedon checkerspot, euphydryas chalcedona (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Ronald L. Rutowski, George W. Gilchrist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this report we describe some aspects of the reproductive biology of a population of the chalcedon checkerspot, Euphydryas chalcedona, in central Arizona. Successful courtship in this species lasts about a minute and has a form similar to that of other nymphalids. During copulation the male forms a spermatophore within the female’s bursa copulatrix that represents about 7% of the male’s body weight. After copulation females may remate and older females may have mated as many as three times. The spermatophore deflates as time since deposition passes. Females oviposit every other day on average and lay their eggs in clusters. These data confirm previous brief reports of courtship structure and spermatophore size for E. chalcedona. Questions are raised about the control of receptivity in this species and the function of the mating plug.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1117
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1987


  • Copulation
  • Courtship
  • Euphydryas chalcedona
  • Lepidoptera
  • Mating frequency
  • Oviposition
  • Spermatophore

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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