Sandia Hairstreak (Callophrys mcfarlandi Ehrlich & Clench)
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Tailless. Upperside of male is brown; female is reddish brown with a narrow black border. Underside yellow-green; white postmedian line bordered with black toward the wing base.
Life history: Eggs are laid on flower stalks of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits.
Flight: Two flights from May-June.
Caterpillar hosts: Beargrass (Nolina texana) in the agave family (Agavaceae).
Adult food: Nectar of host plant flowers.
Habitat: Yucca-agave desert.
Range: Very local: Southeast Colorado south through New Mexico and west Texas to northeast Mexico.
Conservation: Many colonies are highly localized.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: Preserve host plant colonies wherever found.
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