Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton)
The Baltimore Checkerspot is a popular butterfly that was named the Maryland state insect in 1973. The Baltimore was named for the first Lord Baltimore, whose coat of arms matched the colors on this butterfly.
The Baltimore is black, with an orange rim of spots on its outer wing, and rows of white spots on the inner wing. The adults can be seen in the summertime, basking in the sun and feeding.
They usually lay their eggs under the leaves of their host plant, found in wet meadows and marshes. Caterpillars spin a nest of webs and feed into autumn. They then overwinter in leaf litter, and in the spring continue to feed.
The Baltimore Checkerspot is disappearing in some areas due to a decline in host plants, but a welcoming garden may bring this beautiful butterfly back to your yard.