Home / Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae) / Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)

Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)

Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly

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.

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Hypaurotis
  • Scientific Name: Hypaurotis crysalus

Description and Identification


Colorado Hairstreak Caterpillar

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.


Colorado Hairstreak Pupa

The chrysalis is light brown with dark, haphazard spots. A streak in purple can also be seen on both sides of the body.

Adult Butterfly

Sexual Dimorphism:

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.

Female Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly
Male Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly

Average wingspan: 2.5-3.3 inches

Flight pattern: Average


Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly Eggs

White in color, and laid one at a time on host plant leaves

Quick Facts

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.

Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly Pictures
Colorado Hairstreak
Hypaurotis Crysalus

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Scientific Classification

  • Family: Lycaenidae
  • Genus: Hypaurotis
  • Scientific Name: Hypaurotis crysalus
Published by Avatar on July 10, 2019.
Last Updated: November 19, 2020. ✅ Verified by: Butterfly Team