North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Maryland

Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis)
JPG -- species photo

Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis [Guérin- Ménéville])

Wing span: 1/2 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm).

Identification: The only metalmark of the southeast Atlantic coastal plain. Small. Upperside rusty orange, with fringes dark and not checkered. Underside brighter orange.

Life history: Males perch on low-growing plants to wait for females. Eggs are laid singly on host plant leaves. Caterpillars rest underneath leaves during the day, emerging at night and on cloudy days to feed.

Flight: Three to five broods from March-October.

Caterpillar hosts: Yellow thistle (Cirsium horridulum).

Adult food: Short-flowered composites including yarrow, lance-leaved coreopsis, fine-leaved sneezeweed, and blue mist flower.

Habitat: Grassy areas of the coastal plain and in open pine woods, savannah, and salt-marsh meadows.

Range: Atlantic coastal plain and piedmont from Maryland south to Florida and the Keys; west along the Gulf coast to southeast Texas.

Conservation: Colonies are localized but apparently conservation concern is minimal.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might 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:

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.

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.      

Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc.,
     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 
     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers
Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis)
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