The California Dog-face Butterfly can be identified by the shape of the fore wing. Unlike the alfalfa butterfly, whose fore wing is rounded, the California Dog-face has a fore wing that comes to a point. The female is quite a bit larger than the male. The male has two dots on the underside if the hind wing and one on the underside of the fore wing. The female has a spot on the underside of the fore wing. On the topside of the wings of the male, there is a yellow pattern in the shape of a dog's face in a black background.
The adults feed on lots of flowers including Monardellas, Butterfly mints, usually purple flowered mints that attract lots of butterflies, Salvia spp., a.k.a. Sages, they seem to really like Saliva 'Pozo Blue' and other blue sages. They also like Zauschneria sp., California Fuchsia. California Fuchsia has red flowers and is also a favorite of hummingbirds. They also like to sip from horse manure. Yum Yum. Woolly Blue Curls, a fragrant shrub with large fuzzy flower clusters that likes arid landscapes, is also good.
The Larva of the California Dog-face is limited to feeding on only one plant species. The false indigo bush, Amorpha califonica is its larval food source. This is an open, feathery, and ancient looking shrub with pinnately compound leaves and large purple flower clusters. It has a limited distribution which in turn limits the distribution of the California Dog-face.