Golden Hairstreak (Habrodais grunus [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Short tail on hindwing. Upperside of male dark brown with yellow tinge in cell area of forewing; female not as dark. Underside yellow brown with a narrow, dark postmarginal line; hindwing has thin gold crescents at margin, of which the last two are iridescent.
Life history: Males patrol tree canopy for receptive females. Eggs are laid on twigs of host trees. After hibernating through the winter, eggs hatch and the caterpillars feed on young leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of oak relatives including canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), huckleberry oak (Q. vaccinifolia), and tan oak (Lithocarpus densiflorus).
Adult food: Adults do not seek flower nectar but search out moisture sources and possibly aphid honeydew or other exudates.
Habitat: Oak woodland, canyons, mountain ridges.
Range: Southern Arizona, Oregon, and California.
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.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
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.