Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class VoltRankDb in /home/shopth11/public_html/abirdshome.com/67520c410adc3a30837f0e4.php on line 27

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class VoltRank in /home/shopth11/public_html/abirdshome.com/67520c410adc3a30837f0e4.php on line 714
Butterflies of Michigan -- Callophrys [Incisalia] irus

North American Butterflies and Moths List

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature




The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey


Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Michigan

Frosted Elfin (Callophrys [Incisalia] irus)
JPG -- species photo

Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus [Godart])

Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).

Identification: One short tail on the hindwing. Upperside brown; male with long oval dark spot on leading edge of forewing. Below, postmedian line of forewing is irregular; that of hindwing is faint. Hindwing with submarginal black spot above tail.

Life history: Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of host plant; caterpillars eat flowers and developing seedpods. Chrysalids hibernate in loose cocoons in litter beneath the plant.

Flight: One flight from March-April in the south, May-June in the north.

Caterpillar hosts: Members of the pea family (Fabaceae): wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) and lupine (Lupinus perennis); occasionally blue false indigo (B. australis) and rattlebox (Crotalaria sagittalis).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open woods and forest edges, fields, scrub.

Range: Occurs in local colonies from Maine west across New York and southern Michigan to central Wisconsin; south along Atlantic coast and Appalachians to northern Alabama and Georgia. Isolated colony in eastern Texas, northwest Louisiana, and southwest Arkansas.

Conservation: Populations are often small and local. Callophrys irus hadros of east Texas is particularly limited.

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 habitat by controlled burns or other physical means.

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.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.

Nielsen, Mogens C., 1999.  Michigan Butterflies and Skippers: A Field Guide 
     and Reference.  Michigan State University Extension, East Lansing, MI.
     248 pp. 
     
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     
Frosted Elfin (Callophrys [Incisalia] irus)
distribution map
map legend

Disclaimer
Return to species list
Return to Butterflies of North America main page