Nelson's Hairstreak - Callophrys nelsoni
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.2-1.3 cm. Single-tailed. Uppersurface brown to orange-brown; undersurface orange-brown sometimes with a purplish sheen, with or without partial white submedian band, faint submarginal spots on hindwings dark to bluish-gray, only weakly two-toned and darker basally.
One flight; mostly mid-May to June but as early as April or as late as July (Scott 1986). Mid-April to early August but mainly mid-May to mid-July (Glassberg 2001). Late March to early August in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), late April to early August in Oregon (Warren 2005), late April to late June in British Columbia (Threatful 1988; Guppy and Shepard 2001).
Best determined by undersurface orange-brown sometimes with a purplish sheen, with or without partial white submedian band, only weakly two-toned and darker basally.
Southern British Columbia south through Cascades, Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada to southern California, east through northern Idaho to extreme western Montana (Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); 60 m to at least 1036 m elevation in Oregon (Warren 2005), to at least 457 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported from Lincoln, Mineral, Ravalli, and Sanders counties bordering Idaho (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Abundant (Glassberg 2001). Taxonomy remains unstable and confusing, compounded by unintended introductions on host plants used in ornamental plantings; some authorities treat nelsoni as a subspecies of Callophrus gryneus (Johnson 1976, 1978; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005).
Non-migratory. Dispersal movements of a few kilometers possible (Scott 1986).
Mixed conifer forests with incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) or western redcedar (Thuja plicata), damp roadsides, and old fields (Threatful 1988; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). Habitat in Montana not described, but range overlaps that of western redcedar and indicates it is likely similar.
Larval food plants include Calocedrus, Juniperus, Thuja (the primary host plant in Montana and Idaho), and Tsuga (Johnson 1976; Scott 1986, 1992; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Achillea, Cryptantha, Mimulus, Myosotis, Potentilla, Rubus, Senecio, Taraxacum, Trifolium), honeydew, and mud (Pyle 2002; Warren 2005; James and Nunnallee 2011; Scott 2014).
Females lay eggs singly on host plant foliage tips, either the top or underneath, especially new growth (Scott 1986; James and Nunnalee 2011). Eggs hatch in about 5-6 days, larvae develop from L1 instar to L4 instar and pupate in about 39 days. Larvae build no nest, feed on new spring-growth terminal needles, may go through 5 larval instars in some populations, are solitary, possibly cannibalistic if crowded, probably pupate high in trees, pupae overwinter (diapause)(Scott 1979, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males perch throughout the day on tops and sides of host trees, more often on ridges than in valleys, to await passing females (Scott 1975b; 1986).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown (eds). 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountains. Univ. of Oklahoma Press. Norman. 442 pp.
- Glassberg, J. 2001. Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. Oxford University Press.
- Guppy, C.S. and J.H. Shepard. 2001. Butterflies of British Columbia: including western Alberta, southern Yukon, the Alaska Panhandle, Washington, northern Oregon, northern Idaho, northwestern Montana. UBC Press (Vancouver, BC) and Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria, BC). 414 pp.
- Johnson, K. 1976. Three new nearctic species of Callophrys (Mitoura), with a diagnostis of all nearctic consubgeners (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 38: 1-30.
- Johnson, K. 1978. Specificity, geographic distributions, and foodplant diversity in four Callophrys (Mitoura) (Lycaenidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 32(1): 3-19.
- Kohler, S. 1980. Checklist of Montana Butterflies (Rhopalocera). Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 34(1): 1-19.
- Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Second edition. Peterson Field Guides. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 540 pp.
- Pyle, R.M. 2002. The butterflies of Cascadia: a field guide to all the species of Washington, Oregon, and surrounding territories. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, Washington. 420 pp.
- Scott, J.A. 1975b. Mate-locating behavior of western North American butterflies. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 14:1-40.
- Scott, J.A. 1979. Hibernal diapause of North American Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18(3): 171-200.
- Scott, J.A. 1986. The butterflies of North America: a natural history and field guide. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.
- Scott, J.A. 1992. Hostplant records for butterflies and skippers (mostly from Colorado) 1959-1992, with new life histories and notes on oviposition, immatures, and ecology. Papilio new series #6. 185 p.
- Scott, J.A. 2014. Lepidoptera of North America 13. Flower visitation by Colorado butterflies (40,615 records) with a review of the literature on pollination of Colorado plants and butterfly attraction (Lepidoptera: Hersperioidea and Papilionoidea). Contributions of the C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthopod Diversity. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University. 190 p.
- Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies: including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Unpubl. Report. Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado 275 pp.
- Threatful, D.L. 1988. A list of the butterflies and skippers of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, British Columbia, Canada (Lepidoptera). Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 27(3-4): 213-221.
- Warren, A.D. 2005. Lepidoptera of North America 6: Butterflies of Oregon, their taxonomy, distribution, and biology. Contributions of the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado. 406 pp.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Allen, T.J., J.P. Brock, and J. Glassberg. 2005. Caterpillars in the field and garden: a field guide to the butterfly caterpillars of North America. Oxford University Press.
- Brock, J.P. and K. Kaufman. 2003. Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- James, D.G. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life histories of Cascadia butterflies. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 447 p.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
- Scott, J.A. and G.R. Scott. 1978. Ecology and distribution of the butterflies of southern central Colorado. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 17(2): 73-128.
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