AdultMountain Alpines are small butterflies with a row of spots across both the forewings and the hindwings that are red on the upperside and cream or pale yellow on the underside of the wings. This species has traditionally been called Erebia theano (Tauscher, 1806) in North America; however, E. theano is a more strongly marked species restricted to the mountains of eastern Siberia and Mongolia (Korshunov and Gorbunov 1995; Tuzov 1997).
Immature StagesIn Colorado, subspecies ethela eggs are weakly ribbed and are cream-coloured with red brown spots (Bird et al. 1995). First instar larvae are cream with faint longitudinal lines (Scott 1992). Mature larvae are tan with a dark brown dorsal longitudinal stripe, and three dark brown stripes on each side. There are two bumps at the hind end, covered in hairs (Bird et al. 1995).
SubspeciesThe nominate subspecies was described from the Great Sibagly River basin, central Yakutia, Russia. The subspecies found in BC is E.p. alaskensis Holland, 1900 (TL: Eagle City and American Creek, AK).