Alternate Common Name: Buckthorn Hairstreak.
This species ranges from southern British Columbia south to Baja California, and east to central Montana, northwestern Wyoming, and in patches of Utah, Colorado, and the southwest. It occurs in patches throughout Idaho.
It occurs in dry, shrubby areas, including chaparral, sagebrush steppe, oak woodlands, and ponderosa pine forests.
Caterpillars feed on the leaves and flower buds of buck brush (Ceanothus
spp.) and possibly mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from yerba santa (Eriodictyon spp.), buck brush (Ceanothus spp.), and wild buckwheats (Eriogonum spp.).
Eggs are laid in the fall, overwinter, and hatch in the spring. There is one generation of caterpillars each year. Each caterpillar undergoes four 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. To feed, caterpillars cut holes in the upper side of leaves. Adults generally fly from mid-May through August. Butterflies may be found in large groups. The tails of the two hindwings resemble antennae and may act to fool predators into biting the wrong end of the butterfly allowing it to escape.
Males perch on short shrubs to wait for receptive females. Pale green eggs are laid singly on the branches, leaves, and flower buds of buck brush (Ceanothus spp.).
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G5; populations are widespread, abundant, and secure.|
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