Hessel's Hairstreak (Callophrys hesseli [Rawson & Ziegler])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/8 inch (2.5 - 2.8 cm).
Identification: Two tails on hindwing. Underside blue-green; white spots surrounded by patches of red-brown. Forewing's costal white spot is set inward of the other spots in postmedian row.
Life history: Males perch at tops of host trees to seek receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on terminal growth of host tree; caterpillars eat new growth and older foliage. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight in late May in New England, two flights from April-July in the south.
Caterpillar hosts: Atlantic white-cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) in the family Cupressaceae.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including swamp milkweed, shadbush, sand myrtle, sweet pepperbush, highbush blueberry, buttonbush, and dogbane.
Habitat: Coastal plains swamps and stream banks, associated barrens.
Range: Southern Maine south along the Atlantic coastal plain to northern Florida on the Gulf Coast.
Conservation: Most populations are small and local. All are worthy of being conserved.
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 different successional stages of white-cedar swamps and prevent loss of white-cedar stands.
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. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.