Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Thorne's Juniper
Callophrys thornei (J.W. Brown, 1983)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with dark orange patches on lower outer edges of wings; female is tawny with dark margins. Underside is dark purple-brown with an iridescent green sheen. Postmedian line is very irregular; dark toward the base of wing, white toward the outer margin. Blue-gray patch near hindwing margin contains 3-4 reddish spots; 3-4 small black spots are near this patch.
Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 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 April-May.
Caterpillar Hosts: Tecate Cypress (Cupressus).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of wild lilac (Ceanothus) and other plants.
Habitat: Hilly, rocky areas.
Range: Small population in San Diego County, California.
Conservation: Because of its small range and susceptibility to fire, this butterfly is of a high conservation priority.
NCGR: T1 - Critically imperiled because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences, or very few remaining individuals), or because of some factor of its biology making it especially vulnerable to extinction. (Critically endangered throughout its range).
Management Needs: Inventory and monitor population, manage fire as carefully as possible..
Comments: NULL