Early Hairstreak Erora laeta (W.H. Edwards, 1862)GU (Global status uncertain)  -  Endangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Western MD only    
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Arthropoda   >   Class Insecta   >   Order Lepidoptera   >   Family Lycaenidae   >   Genus Erora   


The elusive and seldom-encountered Early Hairstreak (Erora laeta) is a small and poorly-understood butterfly. It is thought to spend most of its time within the canopy of mature trees, and consequently, is seldom encountered by the average terrestrial lepidopterist. Males are prone to hilltopping behavior. Due to the apparent rarity, this species is considered endangered in Maryland, with a state rank of S1 (highly-state-rare). Early Hairstreak has two broods in Maryland, flying in late April, and again in early July (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith).

Where to find:

Generally frequents canopy of deciduous forest. May occasionally be seen visiting flowers, or puddling along dirt roads through hardwood forest. Males may hilltop in treetops to seek females (Brock & Kaufman, 2003).


Uses developing fruits of American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) and hazelnuts (Corylus) as larval hosts. In West Virginia, apparently will also use birch catkins or galls in second brood (Allen, 1997).

There are 7 records in the project database.

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An Early Hairstreak near New Ashford, Massachusetts (6/6/2011). Photo by Bo Zaremba. (MBP list)

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