Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Happy Pollinator Week: June 21-27, 2021! Butterflies and moths are pollinators of many flowering plants.

Did you know? The Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) hovers in flight and uses its long tongue to sip nectar from flowers.

Hessel's Hairstreak
Callophrys hesseli (Rawson & Ziegler, 1950)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: Two tails on hindwing. Underside blue-green; white spots surrounded by patches of red-brown. Forewing's costal white spot is set inward of the other spots in postmedian row.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/8 inch (2.5 - 2.8 cm).
Life History: Males perch at tops of host trees to seek receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on terminal growth of host tree; caterpillars eat new growth and older foliage. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight in late May in New England, two flights from April-July in the south.
Caterpillar Hosts: Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) in the family Cupressaceae.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including swamp milkweed, shadbush, sand myrtle, sweet pepperbush, highbush blueberry, buttonbush, and dogbane.
Habitat: Coastal plains swamps and stream banks, associated barrens.
Range: Southern Maine south along the Atlantic coastal plain to northern Florida on the Gulf Coast.
Conservation: Most populations are small and local. All are worthy of being conserved.
NCGR: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management Needs: Maintain different successional stages of white-cedar swamps and prevent loss of white-cedar stands.
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