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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Western Green Hairstreak - Callophrys affinis


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.2-1.3 cm. Lacks tail; fringes tend towards white. Uppersurface usually gray to orange-brown in some areas; undersurface grainy blue-green with varying amounts of white spots in a mostly-straight median line (from no spots to nearly solid but thin), most populations with variable extent of pale brown on posterior portion of forewing.

Phenology
One flight; usually May to June (March to early May in California, June to July at higher elevations in Colorado) (Scott 1986). February to April in southern California, mid-April to June in the Pacific Northwest, April to July in the Rocky Mountains depending on elevation and latitude (Glassberg 2001). Mid-May to early July in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), late May to early August in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978), early April to mid-July in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), mid-May to mid-July in Oregon (Warren 2005), early May to early June in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by the undersurface grainy blue-green with varying amounts of white spots in a mostly-straight median line (from no spots to nearly solid but thin), most populations with variable extent of pale brown on posterior portion of forewing.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southern British Columbia and northern Montana south through most of the western US to northern Baja California and the Sierra Madre of western Mexico (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); 1830 m to 2440 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), 1643 m to 3048 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978; Gorelick 2005), 2012 m to 2774 m elevation in Utah (Gorelick 2005), 914 m to 2926 m elevation in Oregon (Warren 2005). In Montana, reported from 14 counties in the western half of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; Gorelick 2005), from 1189 m to 2256 m elevation. Common to abundant in southern California, locally uncommon to uncommon elsewhere (Glassberg 2001).

Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Forest openings, sand dunes, chaparral, dry gullies, sagebrush steppe, mountain summits, openings with rocky soils (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005). In Montana, reported from prairie, breaks, rocky ridges (Gorelick 2005); in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, reported from montane meadows dominated by sagebrush (Debinski and Pritchard 2002; Debinski et al. 2013).

Food Habits
Larval food plants include Ceanothus and several species of Eriogonum (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006; Pyle 2002; Gorelick 2005; Warren 2005). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Aletes, Antennaria, Apocynum, Astragalus, Barbarea, Berberis, Ceanothus, Comandra, Cryptantha, Eriogonum, Harbouria, Heterotheca, Jamesia, Lesquerella, Phacelia, Potentilla, Prunus, Ribes, Rudbeckia, Senecio, Thlaspi) and mud (Gorelick 2005; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly and usually tucked out of sight on host plant flower buds, sometimes leaves (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Eggs hatch in about 5-6 days (depending on temperature), develop from L1 instar to L4 instar and pupation in 23-34 days (depending on temperature). Pupation likely occurs in litter under host plants, adults eclose (emerge from pupae) in 12-23 days after exiting diapause and depending on temperature (James and Nunnallee 2011). Larvae solitary, build no nest, eat flowers and young fruits and sometimes leaves, overwinter as pupae; adults may live 19 days (Scott 1979, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males perch on shrubs or sticks above the ground throughout the day in gulches, open slopes, and on hilltops or ridge crests while awaiting passing females (Scott 1975b, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Western Green Hairstreak — Callophrys affinis.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from