California Sister Butterfly

california sister butterfly with open wings

The california sister butterfly (Adelpha bredowii) is large with a wingspan of approximately 3-3.5 inches (7.6-8.9 cm). It belongs to the family Nymphalidae.

They get their name from their coloring, which is said to resemble the colors of a nuns habit.

California sisters are found mostly in the Southwestern United States. As their name suggests, they are most commonly found in California.

california sister butterfly with folded wings

California sisters resemble the lorquins admiral, except that sisters have blue on the underside of their wings.

Adult california sister butterflies feed mostly on overripe fruit that has fallen to the ground and sometimes while the fruit is still on the tree or shrub. More rarely they will feed on buckeye flowers (Aesculus spp.), however, in general they don't take their nutrition from flower nectar. They are often found on damp mud getting a drink of water.

Female butterflies lay spherical eggs. Host plants for the california sister caterpillar are live oak (Quercus spp.), Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), and possibly chinkapin (Chrysolepis spp.).

The caterpillar is tan, with a hump in its back, along with some longer protrusions from its head and tail region. The pupa is brownish in color and irregularly shaped.