New Jersey Butterflies

Brown Elfin

Callophrys augustinus

Identification: Very small (between size of Eastern Tailed-Blue and Banded Hairstreak). Almost never seen with wings open. Below: Rich, reddish-brown with some iridescence when fresh. Lighter on outer half of hindwing. No obvious white markings and no marginal frosting.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Occurs throughout the state but is generally uncommon and local, especially in North Jersey.

NJ Range Map-Brown Elfin

Habitat: Open areas near woods with food plants. Unlikely to visit gardens.

Flight Period: One brood from early April to early June. Extreme dates: North Jersey 3/23—6/7; South Jersey 3/23—5/30.

Larval Food Plants: Many plants in the heath (Ericaceae) family, but especially lowbush blueberries (Vaccinium) and huckleberries (Gaylussacia).

Overwintering Stage: Pupa.

Best Locations: Crater Lake Rd., Belleplain SF, Warren Grove RA.

Comments: A plain little butterfly that nonetheless is a joy to see in the spring. Likes to nectar on spurges (Euphorbia), lowbush blueberries, and huckleberries.

Brown Elfin

Crater Lake Rd., Sussex Co., NJ, 4/19/06.