North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

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

Golden Hairstreak (Habrodais grunus)
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