Amethyst Hairstreak (Chlorostrymon maesites [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 cm).
Identification: Upper surface of male iridescent deep blue-purple; female dull gray-blue. Lower surface has thin postmedian line on yellow-green background.
Life history: Males perch in tree foliage 6-10 feet above ground.
Flight: Two or three flights in Florida from December-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Unknown in wild; caterpillars have fed on flower buds of Albizia lebbeck (Fabaceae) in the lab.
Adult food: In Florida, nectar from flowers of ape's earring, Brazilian pepper, Guamachil, and shepherd's needle.
Habitat: Subtropical evergreen or semideciduous woods and hammocks.
Range: Southeastern Florida peninsula and Keys; larger Caribbean Islands.
Conservation: Amount of habitat is restricted on the Florida Keys.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: GU - Unable to assign rank due to lack of available information.
Management needs: Conserve all possible native habitats.
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:
Gerberg, E.J. and Arnett, R.H., Jr. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc. Baltimore, MD. 90 pp. Kimball, C.P. 1965. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas - Vol. 1: Lepidoptera of Florida. Div. of Plant Industry, State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL. 363 pp. Minno, M.C. and Emmel, T.C. 1993. Butterflies of the Florida Keys. Scientific Publishers. Gainesville, FL. 168 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Smith, D.S., Miller, L.D. and Miller, J.Y. 1994. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, U.K. 264 pp.