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Butterflies of California -- Callophrys [Incisalia] polios

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of California

Hoary Elfin (Callophrys [Incisalia] polios)
JPG -- species photo

Hoary Elfin (Callophrys polios [Cook & Watson])

Wing span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).

Identification: No tails. Upperside is orangish brown; underside brown. Forewing with outer margin of "frosted" white; irregular postmedian line is white. Outer half of hindwing is "frosted" light gray.

Life history: Males perch on plants in sunny clearings and low spots to look for females. Eggs are laid singly on leaf buds or flower pedicels. Chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: One flight from April-June.

Caterpillar hosts: Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) in the heath family (Ericaceae); probably trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including leatherleaf, pyxie, wild strawberry, and willow.

Habitat: Open sunny glades in barrens, rocky ridges, dunes, forest edges, adjacent to bogs.

Range: Very local distribution. Maine south to New Jersey, south in Appalachians to Virginia; west across Great Lakes states and southern prairie provinces; north to Alaska. Along Pacific Coast to northern California; south in Rocky Mountains to northern New Mexico.

Conservation: Not usually required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.

References:

Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the  Great Plains. Johns 
    Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates.

Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern  butterflies. Peterson 
    field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co.,  Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University Press, 
    Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
    Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja 
     California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los 
     Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from 	Entomological Reprint 
     Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.]

Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California.
     Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif.

Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.
     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.

Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. 
     Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26.

Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies.  California Natural
     History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los 
     Angeles.
     
Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal
     of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35.     

Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal
     of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296.     

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of 
     Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History 
     of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State 
     University, Masters Thesis.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California 
     Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and 
     Los Angeles.
Hoary Elfin (Callophrys [Incisalia] polios)
distribution map
map legend

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