Butterfly: Wingspan: 0.75-1.00" (1.9-2.5 cm). Closed wings are pale minty-green with a band of red-orange spots. Wings are edged in red-orange. Ope wings are cahrcoal gray with blue toward the wing base. No tails.
ID Tip: Ventrally, minty-green with irregular orange band. No tails.
Egg: Reportedly, pale green eggs are laid singly on buds, developing fruits, leaves and catkins.
Caterpillar: Yellow green to rusty brown with rusty brown patches on thorax and abdomen.
Chrysalis: Rusty brown with darker brown specks. The chrysalis is the overwintering stage.
Early Hairstreaks have been documented in Alabama only twice in 10 years. Howard Grisham encountered one in April, 2004 in Jackson County, near Holly Tree. It was nectaring on Beaked Com Salad (Valerianella radiata), an abundant annual found along roadsides, woodland margins, and fields; the single female Early was in the company of Red-banded and Juniper Hairstreaks. Wayne Barger saw one ten years later. In April 2014, he photographed a female flying and perching on the leaf litter along a hiking trail at the Walls of Jericho. Subsequent searches yielded no Early Hairstreak sightings.
Early Hairstreaks are among the Southeast’s most rarely encountered butterflies. Whether they are actually rare is unknown. Some believe that they spend their time high in the canopy of beech trees and only rarely descend to the ground. They may also be confused with Red-Banded Hairstreaks. When hiking in northeast Alabama's cove forests, keep an eye out for mint green hairstreaks. Much information is needed to understand the population dynamics and life story of this species in Alabama and throughout its range.
A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat. The High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.
The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.
The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.
The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sightings in the following counties: Jackson
View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names
In or near mature Beech forests. May occur along trails, woodland edges, stream corridors and wooded roadsides.
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is most commonly reported, Beaked Hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) is also listed.
No host plant has yet been verified in Alabama.