Western Pine Elfin
Hairstreaks and Elfins
Appearance: Overall reddish brown below with bold, irregular jagged lines of black, white and chestnut brown on underside of hindwing. The lines on the underside of the forewing are similar, straighter and many fewer in number. The outer margins of both wings beneath show black crescents pointing inward.
Size: Small; 1 to 1 3/8 inches
Habitat: Pine forests with openings, along trails, stream sides and roads
Season: May to early July
Larval Foodplant: Young needles of pines including lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), limber pine (P. flexilis), and ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa)
Did You Know…
This and the Pine White are the only butterflies we have locally that require pine foliage for food. They are often seen perched on shrubs or trees along trails. Eggs are laid at the base of young needles; caterpillars feed on young needles and catkins. Chrysalids overwinter and adults emerge in spring.
Species Gallery (click to enlarge)