Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

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Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult

Description: 8-11 mm. This is a very small butterfly. Dorsal and ventral sides are similar. Both males and females are orange-brown with multiple spots and bands that are metallic gray.

 

Habitat and Distribution: Low lying wet grassy areas with thistles in coastal Florida. It has been recorded from Big Pine Key but is not currently breeding there and has not been found in some time.

 

Host Plant: Thistles (Cirsium sps.)

 

Natural History: The little metalmark is locally abundant in its prefered habitat on the florida mainland. Adults fly low to the grownd and perch on low-lying vegetation. Larvae of this species are quite easy to find by looking for small white fuzzy - mold-like lumps on the leaves of the thistle plant. Eggs are bright red and are layed in divets in the leaves of the thistle plant. This is Florida's only metalmark species. 

 

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark egg

eggs layed in a divet of the thistle leaf

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark larva

Final instar larva

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark larva

Final instar larva

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark larva

Final instar larva

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult

Host plant - swamp thistle

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Mating pair

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult

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Species Pages

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark pupa

Chrysalis

Calephelis virginiensis, Little Metalmark

Freshly emerged adult