Ovipositing E. editha butterflies display post-alighting discrimination among patches of Collinsia torreyi, one of their major hosts in the General's Highway (GH) population at a montane site in California. Females tended to accept (i.e. oviposit on) dense patches of this host and to reject sparse patches. Possible behavioural mechanisms underlying this tendency are discussed. The consequences of this non-random pattern of oviposition for egg and larval survivorship were investigated and no differences were found in the survivorship of larvae on acceptable and unacceptable collinsias.