New Jersey Butterflies


Feniseca tarquinius

Identification: Very small—1.2" (about the size of Banded Hairstreak). Sexes similar. Above: Dark brown and orange. Below: Pinkish-red and orange with many white-ringed, reddish-brown spots that look like watermarks. Mostly seen with wings closed.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Rare and very local.

NJ Range Map-Harvester

Habitat: Deciduous woods with American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), and stream and lake edges with alders (Alnus).

Flight Period: Three broods from late April to late October. Extreme dates: North Jersey 4/17-10/20; South Jersey 5/10—9/16.

Larval Food Plants: None. The larvae feed only on woolly aphids found on American Beech and alders, making this the only North American butterfly whose larvae are completely carnivorous. Adults feed on the excretions of the aphids, as well as on sap, dung, etc.

Overwintering Stage: Larva.

Best Locations: Most colonies have proven to be somewhat ephemeral. However, small colonies at the NJAS Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary, Dismal Harmony NA, and Flatbrook-Roy WMA have proven to be persistent. Two large colonies were recently discovered at Tatum Park, Monmouth County, and Chestnut Branch Park, Gloucester County.

Comments: You never know when you will come across this rarity, but a beech woods next to a rocky stream should get you looking. Individuals often have favorite basking/display spots on vegetation that they return to repeatedly.


Hiawatha National Forest, MI, 7/15/11.


Tatum Park, Monmouth Co., NJ, 8/29/12.

Wooly Aphids

Woolly aphids on branch of American Beech (Fagus grandifolia).