Skip Navigation

Species Search:
threatened and/or endangered


Juniper Hairstreak Callophrys gryneus


enlarge +

Juniper Hairstreak
credit: Megan McCarty/CCSA

All Images

2 articles:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Lycaenidae, Gossamer-wing Butterflies view all from this family

Description The Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus) is a butterfly native to North America. It belongs in the family Lycaenidae.

The Juniper Hairstreak has many subspecies or races, some of which may even be separate species. The upper side of the "Olive" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus gryneus) is tawny orange or a bronzy color in males, and blackish brown in females. The underside of the wings is bright green with a variable amount of brown scaling. There are two white postbasal spots and a white zigzag postmedian line edged inward with brown on the hind wing.

"Sweadner's" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus sweadneri) is very similar to the gryneus race except the two white postbasal spots are reduced.

The "Siva" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus siva) is also similar to the gryneus race. It lacks the postbasal spots, the postmedian line is straight, and some individuals are brown. Intermediates of the gryneus and siva races occur in west Texas and New Mexico.

The underside of "Nelson's" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus nelsoni) is brown with a violet sheen; the white postmedian line is faint, sometimes partial or absent; and the postbasal spots are lacking.

"Muir's" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus muiri) is similar to the nelsoni race except the underside of the wings are a darker brown with a purplish-greenish tint, and the postmedian line is partial to complete.

The underside of the "Loki" Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus loki) is green to purplish-brown. Inward of the white postmedian line, the hind wing often has a dark band.

"Thorne's Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus thornei) is quite similar to the loki race except it usually lacks green more often being a violet-brown to a brownish-gray color.

Dimensions 7/8-1 1/8" (22-28 mm).

Habitat Canyons & caves, Forests & woodlands, Scrub, shrub & brushlands.

Range Northwest, New England, Southeast, Southwest, Texas, Plains, Western Canada, California, Rocky Mountains, Florida, Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic.