The Highest Butterfly in North America Recorded

A Chryxus Arctic perched on a rock. Provided by Zachary MacDonald.

Perched in the alpine zone of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in California, is a population of Chryxus Arctic subspecies known as the Ivallda Arctic (Oeneis chryxus ivallda). Thanks to Zachary MacDonald and his colleagues who found it, its also known as the highest butterfly in North America. The team published their findings recently and it is now shared with e-Butterfly. Their field trip was part of the California Conservation Genomics Project.

On 2 July 2022, they observed a previously unrecorded population at the summit of Mount Whitney (4421 m / 14,505 ft elevation). Finding no other records there or at that elevation in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), where e-Butterfly and others share occurrence data, they have now shared it with e-Butterfly, where it joins hundreds of other Chryxus Arctic records.

Watch a video provided by Zachary and learn more about the discovery and their project: