North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Nevada

Golden Hairstreak (Habrodais grunus)
JPG -- species photo

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:

Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies.
     Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida.

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.
Golden Hairstreak (Habrodais grunus)
distribution map
map legend

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