Bay Checkerspot (Euphydryas editha bayensis)
This gorgeous butterfly of bright red, yellow, and white with black bands is where the Checkerspot gets its name. Their home is in the San Francisco Bay area and the mountains near San Jose of California. They normally emerge in early spring and only live about ten days, which is enough time to mate and produce eggs. The female can lay up to five masses containing 250 eggs each on plantain plants that the caterpillar thrives on but are becoming hard to find. The Bay Checkerspot have been a federally threatened species since 1987 due to several habitat reasons but mostly due to the emission of nitrogen that is killing off the nectar producing plants that are their main source of food.