Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Eastern Pine Elfin
Callophrys niphon Hübner, [1819]


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: Tailless. Upperside dark brown; female with dark borders. Underside banded with dark brown; hindwing with submarginal gray band outside row of black crescents.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Males perch on tops of pine trees in the sun to find receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on new needles of young trees; caterpillars feed on the needles. Chrysalids hibernate and adults emerge in the spring.
Flight: One flight from March-June.
Caterpillar Hosts: Various hard pines including scrub pine (Pinus virginiana) and jack pine (P. banksiana), and the soft white pine (P. strobus).
Adult Food: Nectar of many different flowers including blueberry, cinquefoil, chickweed, common milkweed, and white sweet clover.
Habitat: Areas with small to medium pines such as forest openings and edges, and old fields.
Range: Nova Scotia west to eastern Alberta; south to northern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and northern Florida.
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:
Incisalia niphon