Hessel's Hairstreak Callophrys hesseli (Rawson & Ziegler, 1950)Extirpated  -  G3G4 (Globally vulnerable)  -  Worcester only    Synonyms: Hodges #4319, Mitoura hesselii.
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Arthropoda   >   Class Insecta   >   Order Lepidoptera   >   Family Lycaenidae   >   Genus Callophrys   


Hessel's Hairstreak (Callophrys hesseli) is similar in appearance to its more common relative, Juniper Hairstreak. Unlike that species, Hessel's uses the Atlantic White Cedar, a coastal plain swamp denizen, as a larval food plant, which greatly limits its potential range. Atlantic White Cedar swamps were quite frequently logged and drained, and this has further reduced the habitat for this butterfly, which is difficult to observe to begin with, as it spends much of its time at the tops of cedars. Hessel's Hairstreak was known from Worcester Co. in Maryland, and is currently considered extirpated, though the host tree species does still occur sparingly in portions of the coastal plain (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith; Brock & Kaufman 2003; BAMONA site).


Host plant is Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides).

There are 3 records in the project database.

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A Hessel's Hairstreak from the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey (5/5/2007). Photo by Steve Collins. (MBP list)

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