Nelson's Hairstreak (Callophrys nelsoni [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 2.9 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with rusty orange patches on lower outer edges of wings; female is mostly tawny with dark margins. Underside is brown with a lilac tinge; hindwing postmedian line may be reduced or it is dark and usually outlined in white.
Life history: To seek females, males perch on host trees all day. Eggs are laid singly on tips of host plant leaves, which the caterpillars eat. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One brood from May-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), western red-cedar (Thuja plicata).
Adult food: Flower nectar including buckbrush, pussy-paws, and composites.
Habitat: Openings in coniferous forests.
Range: Southern British Columbia and northwest Montana south through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada to the high-altitude mountains of southern California and Baja California Norte.
Conservation: Not usually of concern.
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.
Emmel, T.C. and J.F. Emmel. 1973. The butterflies of southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles. 148 pages. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986.California Butterflies. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 246 pp, 24 plates. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Elrod, M.J. 1906. The Butterflies of Montana. Bulletin of the University of Montana 30: 1-174. Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.