Desert Elfin (Callophrys fotis [Strecker])
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches (1.9 - 2.8 cm).
Identification: Upperside gray; underside brownish gray. Base of hindwing darker, outer half gray to yellow-gray.
Life history: Males perch near host plants on trees and shrubs to wait for females. Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of the host; caterpillars feed on buds, flowers, and young fruits. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: One flight from March-June.
Caterpillar hosts: Cliff rose (Cowania mexicana var. stansburiana) in the rose family (Rosaceae).
Adult food: Not reported.
Habitat: In desert rocky canyons, hills, and scrub.
Range: Southeastern California, southern Nevada, central Utah, southwest Colorado, northern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico.
Conservation: Not thought to be in need of conservation.
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: Not 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