Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)
The Colorado Hairstreak is a purple butterfly found mostly in the oak scrublands between mid-June and August, and is the only species belonging to the genus Hypaurotis.
Description and Identification
The mature larva is green in color with a segmented body that tapers towards both ends. Fine hair-like structures are present all over the body.
The chrysalis is light brown with dark, haphazard spots. A streak in purple can also be seen on both sides of the body.
Color and Appearance: When the wings are open, the upperside exhibits a dark purple to violet coloration along with a wide dark to black border. Both the wings bear orange spots around the lower outer corner. When the wings are closed, the lower side shows a pale to dark gray coloration with dark and white markings. There is also an orange patch by the margin of each forewing, as also an orange spot bearing a black spot at the center near the tail. Each of the hindwings bear a thin hairlike tail.
Average wingspan: 2.5-3.3 inches
Flight pattern: Average
White in color, and laid one at a time on host plant leaves
|Distribution||Mostly found in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Colorado Plateau states|
|Habitat||Typically found in the oak scrublands|
|Lifespan of adults||Around 2 weeks|
|Host plants||Prefers gambel oak (Quercus gambelii)|
|Adult diet||Adults prefer tree sap and probably honeydew secreted by other insects rather than from flowers|
Did You Know?
The Colorado hairstreak is the state insect of Colorado since 1996.