White M Hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album [Boisduval & LeConte])
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 -4.1 cm).
Identification: Tailed. Upperside iridescent blue with black borders. Underside grayish brown; white postmedian line edged with black and forming a white M (or W) near tail; white spot near base of costa.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: Three broods in the north, four in Florida, from February-October.
Caterpillar hosts: Live oak (Quercus virginiana) and other oak species.
Adult food: Nectar from a variety of flowers including viburnum, sumac, sourwood, wild plum, poinsettia, sweet pepperbush, common milkweed, lantana, dogwood, and goldenrod.
Habitat: Woods with broadleaf trees.
Range: Connecticut west to southeast Iowa and Missouri, south to east Texas, the Gulf Coast, and peninsular Florida. Rare stray to Michigan and Wisconsin.
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.
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:
Nekola, Jeffrey C. 1995. County Distribution Maps of Iowa Butterflies and Skippers. Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI. 30 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.