Alternate Common Name: Western Willow Hairstreak.
Note: This species is really a complex made up of several species or subspecies, including sylvinus, dryope, and an unnamed form.
This species ranges from southern British Columbia south to Baja California, and east to Montana south to northern Arizona and New Mexico. It occurs throughout most of Idaho.
It occurs in wet areas with willows (Salix spp.) such as streamsides, ditches and moist meadows.
Caterpillars eat the leaves of various species of willow (Salix spp.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar, often from milkweeds (Asclepias 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. Adults generally fly from mid-May through mid-August. Butterflies tend to remain with a specific colony. 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 plants near willows to wait for receptive females from morning to early afternoon. Pale green eggs are laid singly on willow stems.
|Idaho Status:||Unprotected nongame species.|
|Global Rank:||G4; population levels are secure, but may be of concern in the future.|
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