Species Callophrys augustinus - Brown Elfin - Hodges#4322
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
Subfamily Theclinae (Hairstreaks)
Species augustinus (Brown Elfin - Hodges#4322)
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Thecla augustinus Westwood, 1852
Incisalia augustinus (Westwood) 1852
Explanation of Names
Named after a Canadian Inuit who was called Augustus by the members of the nineteenth-century John Franklin
expedition. John Richardson
, the naturalist on the Franklin Arctic Expedition. honoured Augustus for his devoted duty to the expedition members (The entomologist William Kirby
wrote the actual description)
The name chosen, Thecla augustus
, had unfortunately already been used to describe another butterfly, so John Obadiah Westwood
proposed a slightly modified version, Thecla augustinus
, which became the official original name for the species.
Locally common; the most often encountered elfin in most of its range
Adult: Has no tails. Upperside of male grayish-brown; female more reddish-brown. Underside of forewing chestnut brown with dark irregular postmedian line. Underside of hindwing sharply divided between dark brown basal half and light chestnut brown distal half.
Larva: olive green to yellow green, with a yellow line down the back, and oblique lines on the sides.
Much of North America, north to Alaska and Newfoundland. Absent from Great Plains, midwest.
Varied: barrens, bogs, mixed coniferous/deciduous woodlands; almost any place where acidic soils predominate and the larval foodplants occur.
Adults from May-July (north); February-April (south)
Larvae feed on flowers, fruits, and leaves of wide variety of plants, mainly Ericaceae, including blueberry (Vaccinium
spp.), Manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp.
), Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata
), Labrador Tea (Ledum groenlandicum
), madrone (Arbutus menziesii
, and salal (Gaultheria shallon
). In California, it also uses(1)
soap plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum
), California lilac (Ceanothus spp.
), and even the parasitic vine dodder (Cuscuta spp.
Adults take nectar.
Often flies in company with other elfins, and likes to sip moisture from wet sand and earth.
and Hoary Elfin
have some hoary gray shading in the pale outer half of the hindwing below.
Butterflies of Canada
pinned adult image, subspecies, description, origin of specific epithet, flight season, biology, distribution, similar species, remarks
Fauna Boreali-Americana, v.4, p.298
William Kirby's original description of the species
|3.||Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)|
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.
|4.||The Butterflies of North America|
James A. Scott. 1986. Stanford University Press.