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