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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Western Green Hairstreak
Callophrys affinis  EDWARDS, 1862
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Callophrys affinis apama White Mountains, Arizona, USA Frank Model
Introduction
There are about 30 Callophrys species, the most widespread of which is the Green Hairstreak rubi, which is distributed across most of Europe and temperate Asia. There are 9 other species found in temperate Asia, and one restricted to Spain and North Africa. In North America there are a further 25 species, of which 7 are found in Mexico. Only 2 species are found further south, one of which is endemic to Guatemala.
The upperside wings of all Callophrys species are dull earthy brown in both sexes although several including spinetorum, estella, dospassosi and guatemalena have a blue iridescence. The undersides of some species are marbled in shades of brown and/or greyish-brown, but the majority of species are iridescent green. Most species are marked with a white 'hair streak' line across both wings, but this is highly variable within a given species, and may be broken into a series of dashes or dots, or entirely absent.
Callophrys affinis is found in the western states of the USA. There are 6 subspecies. The illustrated subspecies apama is found in Arizona and New Mexico.
Habitats
This species occurs in forest edge habitats, chaparral, sagebrush, scrub and dunes.
Lifecycle
The eggs are pale green and are laid singly on the leaves and flower-buds of the foodplants. A wide range of plants are utilised including Lotus ( Fabaceae ), Ceanothus ( Rhamnaceae ) and Eriogonum ( Polygonaceae ) according to subspecies and habitat. The larva occurs in several beautiful colour forms - either green with yellow markings, green with red and white markings, or greyish with pink markings. All of these forms may be found together on a single plant, and can be the progeny of a single female. The pupa, which is the hibernating state, is brown with fine black mottling.
Adult behaviour

Males spend most of the day perching on bushes to await passing females, and dart up aggressively to intercept and investigate any passing insect. Both sexes nectar at the flowers of a wide range of herbaceous plants and bushes.

 

 

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