North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Connecticut

Hessel's Hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] hesseli)

Hessel's Hairstreak (Callophrys hesseli [Rawson & Ziegler])

Wing span: 1 - 1 1/8 inch (2.5 - 2.8 cm).

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.

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.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: 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.


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.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 
     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 
     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Hessel's Hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] hesseli)
distribution map
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