Duke Insects
Species:
Calycopis cecrops
Common Name:
Red Banded Hairstreak
Order:
Lepidoptera
Family:
Lycaenidae
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High close-up of head
High close-up of scales on wing
Bottom surface of wing
Bottom surface of wing

Calycopis cecrops is one of 2 species in the genus Calycopis.  Within the United States, it inhabits overgrown and sandy fields, forest edges, and coastal hammocks from Kansas and Texas in the West to Connecticut in the North to Florida in the south.  This specimen was found in a flower bed on Science Drive in early October.  Usually, two generations of C. cecrops occur each year (between April and October).  Adults have a wingspan of 22-32 mm, and their hindwings have two tails.  The dorsal side of their wings is brown and the underside is grayish, with a red-bordered white line.  The females have some metallic blue scales on the dorsal side of their wings.  After mating, females lay their eggs one by one the fallen leaves of wax myrtle, dwarf sumac, staghorn sumac, and certain oaks.  The caterpillars that hatch from these eggs feed on the leaves, buds, and decaying plant matter on and around the host tree.  The adult butterflies feed primarily on nectar.

High close-up of head
High close-up of head
High close-up of scales on wing
High close-up of scales on wing

(1) Daniels, J.C., Butterflies of Florida Field Guide, (2003), Adventure Publications.

(2) Scott, J.A., The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide, (1992), Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press.

(3) Arnett, R.H. and R.L. Jacques, Simon and Schuster’s Guide to Insects, (1981), Fireside Publishing.

(4) Castner, J.L., Photographic Atlas of Entomology and Guide to Insect Identification, (2000), Gainesville, FL, Feline Press.