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Apodemia mormo mormo C.& R.Felder, [1865]
Metalmarks; Mormon Metalmark
Family: Riodinidae (Metalmarks)
Species account authors: Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard.
Extracted from Butterflies of British Columbia.
Introduction to the Butterflies of BC
The Families of Lepidoptera of BC


© Robert Vandermoor     (Photo ID #2004)


Click on map to view a larger version of this map.
Distribution of Apodemia mormo mormo in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)
Source: Butterflies of British Columbia by Crispin Guppy and Jon Shepard © Royal BC Museum

Species Information


The Mormon Metalmark is like no other butterfly in BC and can be easily identified by referring to the photographs of the adults.

Immature Stages

The larvae of the only species of metalmark in BC can be distinguished from those of BC lycaenids using the family characteristics given.


BC populations are the nominate subspecies, A.m. mormo (C. & R. Felder, 1859) (TL: Davis Creek Park, Washoe Co., NV [Emmel et al. 1998d]), which occurs south through the Columbia Basin and northern Great Basin.

Genus Description

The derivation of the name Apodemia is unknown. The common name is probably derived from the name of the family, since metallic markings are notably absent in this genus. Apodemia is a Nearctic genus of 10 species. Most are found in the American southwest and/or northern Mexico. One species is widespread in western North America and just reaches BC.


The Mormon Metalmark has one generation in BC. Adults are seen from mid-August to late September. Further south in the species' range, it overwinters as a larva, feeding whenever the temperature is above 13°C (Ballmer and Pratt 1989). Since such temperatures are rarely reached in the Keremeos area in winter, it must hibernate, either as an egg or as an early instar larva. The populations in the Keremeos area are found on Eriogonum niveum (CSG; JHS). In 1989, adults at the population near Keremeos were at peak abundance from 11 to 20 August, and adults were observed until 1 October 1989 (Huber Moore, pers. comm.).


The Mormon Metalmark is historically known only from the southern Okanagan Valley and near Keremeos, where Eriogonum and rabbitbrush occur together. It has just recently (1999) been rediscovered in the Okanagan Valley. A group of closely adjacent populations near Keremeos are still strong within a very limited area, but the habitat needs to be protected from detrimental changes.



The Mormon Metalmark is found in the southernmost part of the Southern Interior of BC and southern SK, south to Baja California and northern MEX.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

General References