Alternate Common Name: Orange Hairstreak.
Note: Some authors refer to this species using the genus name Callipsyche.
It occurs from southern British Columbia south along the various mountain ranges to southern California, and east to southern Idaho, western Wyoming and Colorado, and central New Mexico.
This species is found in dry habitats including sagebrush steppe, chaparral, and pinyon-juniper woodlands.
Caterpillars eat the leaves of bitterbrush (Purshia spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from wild buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.).
Eggs are laid in the fall, overwinter, and hatch in the spring. There is only one generation of caterpillars each year. 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. Each caterpillar undergoes four stages of growth, called instars. Adults generally fly from May through August. Butterflies tend to stay near host plants and are fairly local within the described range of the species.
Males perch on shrubs located on hilltops to wait for receptive females. Greenish white eggs are laid singly on the leaves and branches of bitterbrush (Purshia spp.). The eggs turn white before hatching.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.|
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