Frosted Elfin Callophrys irus (Godart, [1824])G3 (Globally rare/local)  -  Endangered (MD)  -  S1 (Highly state rare)  -  Vulnerable  Synonyms: Incisalia irus.


The beautiful and elusive Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus) is another small, early-flying butterfly. Like several of its relatives, this species flies early in spring, and is often rather localized and rare. This butterfly is considered endangered/vulnerable in Maryland, with a state rank of S1 (highly-state-rare), and the species is also globally ranked as G3 (globally rare/local). In our area, Frosted Elfin is on the wing from late April to late May (Butterflies of Maryland: A Biological Summary and Checklist by Lynn Davidson & Richard Smith; Brock & Kaufman 2003).


The larval host plant is Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis). In some portions of its range, Frosted Elfin uses Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) as an alternative host.

There are 22 records in the project database.

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A Frosted Elfin in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/10/2013). Photo by Annette Allor. (MBP list)

A Frosted Elfin in Worcester Co., Maryland (4/25/2009). Its host plant is Sundial Lupine. Photo by Steve Collins. (MBP list)

A Frosted Elfin in Worcester Co., Maryland (5/17/2017). Photo by Jared Satchell. (MBP list)

Frosted Elfin on host plant, Sundial Lupine, at Kitty Todd Preserve, Ohio (5/11/2011). Photo by Angie Cole. (MBP list)

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