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Butterflies of North America -- Callophrys [Mitoura] muiri

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Muir's Hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] muiri)
JPG -- species photo

Muir's Hairstreak (Callophrys muiri [Hy. Edwards])

Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.5 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male is dark brown with dark orange patches on lower outer edges of wings; female is tawny with dark margins. Underside is dark purple-brown with an iridescent green sheen. Postmedian line is very irregular; dark toward the base of wing, white toward the outer margin. Blue-gray patch near hindwing margin contains 3-4 reddish spots; 3-4 small black spots are near this patch.

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 April-May.

Caterpillar hosts: Cypress, especially Sargent cypress (Cupressus sargentii) and MacNab's cypress (Cupressus macnabiana).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers of wild lilac (Ceanothus) and other plants.

Habitat: Hilly, rocky areas.

Range: California's Coast Ranges from San Luis Obispo County north to Mendocino County; Guadeloupe Island, Mexico.

Conservation: This butterfly is of moderate concern.

The Nature Conservancy Rank: T3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).

Management needs: Conserve as many habitats as possible. Inventory and monitor populations.

References:

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

Muir's Hairstreak (Callophrys [Mitoura] muiri)
distribution map
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