Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Brown Elfin
Callophrys augustinus (Westwood, 1852)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: No tails. Upperside of male gray-brown; female reddish brown. Underside chestnut brown with dark, irregular postmedian line; hindwing darker at base.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).
Life History: Males perch on shrubs in open areas to watch for females. Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of host plants; caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits. Pupation takes place in litter at the base of the host plant; chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from May-July in the north, March-April in the south.
Caterpillar Hosts: In the East, members of the heath family (Ericaceae), including sugar huckleberry (Vaccinium vacillans) and Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum). In the west, many other plants including madrone (Arbutus) and dodder (Cuscuta).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including blueberry, footsteps-of-spring, spicebush, willow, winter cress, and wild plum.
Habitat: Mixed conifer woods, barrens, bogs, sandy coasts, chaparral.
Range: Newfoundland north and west through northern United States and the prairie provinces to Alaska; south in Appalachians to northern Georgia and northern Alabama; south through western mountains to northern Baja California. Does not occur on the plains or in the Midwest.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL
Alternate Scientific Names:
Callophrys augustus