< Previous | Back to Photo Gallery | Next >
Habitat for the Great Purple Hairstreak

A. halesus - pairHabitat for the Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly (Atlides halesus estesi), the largest Lycaenid in North America. This is a sheltered canyon about 2,000 feet elevation in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. The key to finding halesus is finding an area where there is a lot of mistletoe (their larval food plant) growing in conjunction with their favorite nectar sources. The trees in this area are loaded with mistletoe and there is lots of scale-broom (Lepidospartum squamatum) growing as well, which is very attractive to halesus. The Great Purple Hairstreak is known to fly from about June to November in Southern California but in my experience the peak period is August to October. Gravid females will readily oviposit if put in a cage with mistletoe cuttings and Lepidospartum flowers.

The next photo was taken from the bottom of the same canyon.

< Previous | Back to Photo Gallery | Next >