Brown Elfin - Callophrys augustinus
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.1-1.3 cm. Tailless but with tail stubs, sexes similar. Uppersurface warm brown to grayish-brown, females more or less with orangish tones; undersurface of hindwing two-toned and darker at base, the irregular line separating the two regions lacking white, a brighter reddish-brown wide marginal band tapering to point at hindwing apex.
One flight; May to early June in the north and at high elevation, mid-May to late June in Newfoundland and Sierra Nevada above 2300 m elevation, late March to mid-April in Georgia, April to May in southwestern US (Scott 1986). Mainly May to June in mountains and north, as early as February in southern California (Glassberg 2001). Early May to mid-June in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978), mid-March to late July in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), mid-February through July in Oregon (Warren 2005), late April to early June in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988).
Best told by the hindwing undersurface two-toned and darker at base, the irregular line separating the two regions lacking white, a brighter reddish-brown wide marginal band tapering to point at hindwing apex.
Northern Alaska and Yukon south through Canadian prairie provinces and western mountains to northwestern Mexico, east across boreal Canada and Great Lakes region to Labrador, Newfoundland, and in the eastern US south to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia; isolated populations in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan and Black Hills of South Dakota (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); 1829 m to 2438 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states (Brown 1957; Ferris and Brown 1981); 2438 m to 3038 m elevation in south-central Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978); 274 m to 1646 m elevation in Oregon (Warren 2005), 456 m to 762 m elevation in southeastern British Columbia (Threatful 1988). In Montana, reported from at least 19 counties in the western half of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Mainly uncommon to common (Glassberg 2001).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Variable; including sagebrush steppe, chaparral, pine woodlands, hemlock-fir forest, roadsides, seeps, tree farms, yards, gardens, parks, bogs, forest edges, montane openings (Scott 1986; Threatful 1988; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002). In Glacier national Park, Montana reported from forest-edge areas (Debinski 1993).
Larval food plants include Amelanchier, Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Artemisia, Berberis, Ceanothus (at least three species), Chamaedaphne, Chlorogalum, Cuscuta, Eriodictyon, Eriogonum, Fygopyrum, Gaultheria, Gaylussacia, Holodiscus, Ledum, Malus, Purshia, Pyrus, Rhamnus, Rhododendron, Vaccinium (at least three species) (Scott 1986, 1992; Pyle 2002; Warren 2005; James and Nunnallee 2011). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Aletes, Amelanchier, Arctostaphylos, Asclepias, Berberis, Calyptridium, Cerastium, Cercis, Fragaria, Phlox, Prunus, Rhamnus, Rhus, Senecio, Thlaspi, Trifolium) and mud (Pyle 2002; Scott 2014).
Females lay eggs singly (20 eggs in one day reported) on host plant flower inflorescence (flower bud, raceme) (Scott 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). L1 instar developes to L4 instar and pupa in 22 to 34 days (depending on host plant and temperature). Larvae feed on flower buds and fruits (leaves less often), build no nest, may sometimes be associated with ants, probably pupate in leaf litter near base of host plant, overwinter (hibernate) as pupa (Scott 1979, 1986; James and Nunnallee 2011). Males perch throughout the day in ridgetop openings low to the ground on shrubs or near host plants, also along paths and streambanks (Scott 1975b, 1986; Pyle 2002).
- Literature Cited AboveLegend: View Online Publication
- Brown, F.M. 1957. Colorado Butterflies. Proceedings; Numbers Three through Seven. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, Co.
- Debinski, D. 1993. Butterflies of Glacier National Park, Montana. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. No. 159: 1-13.
- 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.
- James, D.G. and D. Nunnallee. 2011. Life histories of Cascadia butterflies. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press. 447 p.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. LaFontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press. 280 pp. + color plates.
- Additional Sources of Information Related to "Insects"