Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Nelson's Hairstreak
Callophrys nelsoni (Boisduval, 1869)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with rusty orange patches on lower outer edges of wings; female is mostly tawny with dark margins. Underside is brown with a lilac tinge; hindwing postmedian line may be reduced or it is dark and usually outlined in white.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 2.9 cm).
Life History: To seek females, males perch on host trees all day. Eggs are laid singly on tips of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar Hosts: Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), western red-cedar (Thuja plicata).
Adult Food: Flower nectar including buckbrush, pussy-paws, and composites.
Habitat: Openings in coniferous forests.
Range: Southern British Columbia and northwest Montana south through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada to the high-altitude mountains of southern California and Baja California Norte.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL