Other Common Names
Cedar Hairstreak, Olive Hairstreak
Explanation of Names
Callophrys gryneus (Hübner, )
widely dist. across US, s. BC & s. ON - Map
semi-open areas, closely associated with hostplants in family Cupressaceae.
Larval hosts are in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae), and vary from region to region. Juniperus is used by most but not all subspecies. Others use Calocedrus, Cupressus, Chamaecyparis, Thuja, etc. Some C. gryneus subspecies are closely tied to one species of larval host plant, but several have been shown to utilize alternate hosts when available (as in plantings near wild populations). Adults take nectar and will sometimes visit mud.
[note from David J. Ferguson; 11-16-13] It is interesting to wonder how a member of a group of butterflies that normally utilizes Dicots for larval hosts has adapted to using Conifers (family Cupressaceae). It could be that (as in some closest relatives) their ancestors once used Mistletoes growing on Conifers, and that the butterflies adapted to use of the Conifers via their parasitic Mistletoe larval hosts. This shift seems that it could have been advantageous in allowing for a more permanent and reliable larval host than were the more transient parasitic Mistletoe plants (which are more likely to die, or to blow off of the trees).
Shows regional variation, with those east from the Great Plains usually largely green below, and with distinct markings in the discal area of the lower hind wing. West from the Great Plains the white discal markings vanish, and west from the Rockies (except in mountains of the desert Southwest) the under side is usually brownish instead of green (often suffused purplish or pinkish). In sw. California and Baja California the discal markings reappear in mostly brownish populations.
Many subspecies names have been given based on coloration, geographical location, and host plant preference. Where populations in the same area use different host plants, they may look different, showing at least partial racial segegration.
As broadly defined here, C. gryneus
may include several cryptic species, but opinions vary. (2)(3)
For the present, various names are all (except hesselli
) listed here at the same subspecies ranking, this seems the most consistent and least confusing treatment, at least until relative degrees of distinctness are much better understood.
is part of this complex, but has always been treated as a distinct species.