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
State and Regional References:
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press. Norman. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.