Juniper Hairstreak Butterfly

Photo by: Bryan Reynolds

0 Inch
An average wingspan of a Juniper Hairstreak is 1-1.25 inches.

Callophrys gryneus

The Juniper Hairstreak, also known as the Olive Hairstreak or Olive Juniper Hairstreak, is a small butterfly that has an apple-green underside in eastern Canada. The western subspecies has a more yellow green coloring. At the base of the green hindwings are two white marks along a reddish-brown inward line. A typical Juniper Hairspray has a wingspan of about 0.75″ – 1.25″.

Early on in development the larva has white or yellow markings along each side of its green and bumpy body. Each stage is roughly a week and the butterfly itself can live up to ten days. The egg stage is 4-6 days, the Caterpillar (larval) stage 3-4 weeks, the Chrysalis (pupal) stage 10-20 days, and the Adult butterfly stage 4-10 days. It overwinters as a chrysalis. There is a single brood in May-August, and another from March-July in the west.

Juniper Hairstreaks have a wide range across the continental United States, however is only located in a few areas of Canada. Generally, it feeds on Eastern Red Cedar or junipers. The Juniper Hairspray can be found near their foodplants on dry hillsides on mid-sized trees. To find this butterfly, one only need to shake a Juniper tree to disturb it. When a male is in search of a mate, he perches on host trees during the day. The leaves that the eggs are laid on provide food for the caterpillars. The adults feed on nectar from plants, such as the winter cress, dogbane, common milkweed, wild carrot, shepherd’s needle, butterflyweed, white sweet clover, and others.

The Juniper Hairstreak Butterfly (Callophrys gryneus) has The Nature Conservancy Global Rank of G5, meaning that while it is secure in most regions, it may be rare in the periphery of its range.

Written by: Christian Newkirk, an undergraduate Environmental Science student at the University of Oklahoma