14 May 08. Rosamond, CA. The unmistakable, common, and swift-flying Mormon Metalmarks perch vertically, either head up or head down, in blazing sunshine. Their flashing colors match mottled desert rocks and sand, making flying adults difficult to track. A number of named subspecies reflect complex patterns of geographic variation.
description 3/4-1 1/4" (19-32 mm). Above, brightly patterned, varying geographically; FW outer half and base coal-black to ash-gray; inner half nut-brown to russet-orange; 4 black-bordered, pearl-white squares boldly mark inner FW area, with others forming 2 indistinct bands of tooth-shaped spots outwardly; fringe strongly checkered. HW ground color and spotting similar, russet area usually confined to broad swath above outer wing margin. Below, FW pale brown; large white squares dot margin and interior; HW variable (ash-gray to white, or russet) with very large, puffed, white squares and polygons. Metallic markings obscured by white.