Henry's Elfin Callophrys henrici

The springtime dark "hairstreak" butterfly that is sometimes sneaky. Often looks much darker in flight and perched in shadow. It flutters like a Red-banded Hairstreak until it lands. It is a very small butterfly. Usually seen in Arkansas somewhere in woods associated with Redbud trees, though I have found these guys and stopped and stared around me unable to see any of the distinctive red flower color nearby. So they do wander. And Scott reports they also feed on Prunus species. Sometimes eruptive and actually common in specific locations. This individual is from New Jersey. I believe our form is a bit darker in general.

The form that appears in west Texas is a different subspecies and has obvious visual differences. Unfortunately the one pictured in the "Butterflies Through Binoculars the West" is not a Texas form so don't be fooled. The Texas creature is much less golden and demarcated, it has some mints and blues in it. No other likely Elfins occur in the west Texas hills, though, so it is not difficult. It feeds on the ubiquitous Texas Bluebonnet, Lupinus texanus and the Texas Persimmon, Diospyros texana.

This is one from NE AR in early spring. Compare with the bright NJ specimen from Bob. Fresh, long tails on this one.

The little spring jewel laying on a Redbud stem. From Rose in the north counties. Very close to Bob's shot at the top here.

And Rose's April 2011 individual which is so much like a Brown Elfin it is hard to believe it is not one but still with a good tail and some visible white margins on the dark cell border.