Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

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Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

Freshly emerged adult

Description: 8.5-13 mm. Very similar in appearance to Maesites Hairstreak but with a thick silver band over the green base color of the ventral side. Males have blue-purple on top. Females have a dusty blue color. Adults land with wings closed making observation and photography of the dorsal side very difficult.

 

Habitat and Distribution: Tropical hardwood hammocks and disturbed sights where balloon vine grows in the upper Keys, Southern Dade County and also in California, Texas and south through Central and South America.

 

Host Plant: Balloon Vine (Cardiospermum corindum) and (Cardiospermum microcarpum)

 

Natural History: It's always a treat to see this butterfly. I've found them in abundance in Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge in North Key Largo as well as in several sites in Dade County but this species seems to struggle in urban locations where the host plant is abundant. Larvae can be located by looking for frass inside balloon vine seed pods.

 

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

Female laying eggs on seed pod of Balloon Vine

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak egg

Egg

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak larva

Final instar larva

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak larva

Final instar larva

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

Freshly emerged adult

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

Freshly emerged adult

Balloonvine seedpods

Balloonvine seedpods

Balloonvine seedpods

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak pupa

Chrysalis

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak larva

Final instar larva

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

Freshly emerged adult

Chlorostrymon simaethis, Silver-banded Hairstreak

C. simaethis male (Left) C. maesites male (right)

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