Alternate Common Names:Cedar Hairstreak, Olive Hairstreak.
Note: Some authors consider this species to be a complex of several species or subspecies.
This species ranges from southern British Columbia south through most of Washington and part of northern Idaho, through the Cascades of Oregon and into California.
It occurs in coniferous forests.
Caterpillars feed on incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) and
western red cedar (Thuja plicata).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.
There is only one generation of caterpillars each summer. Each undergoes five to seven stages of growth, called instars. The caterpillar is equipped with a honey gland, also known as a dorsal nectary organ, which emits a sugary solution agreeable to ants. The ants feed on the solution and in turn protect the caterpillar from predators. The caterpillars are colored in such a way that they mimic the foliage tips of their host plant. Pupae overwinter in a physiological state called diapause. Adults generally fly from May through July. The thin "tail" on each of the hindwings of adults is thought to mimic insect antennae and thus misleads bird predators into biting at the wrong end and only getting a mouthful of wing, while the butterfly escapes in the other direction.
Although not officially reported, males are thought to perch to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on the tips of host plant foliage.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; Population levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.|
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