Callophrys henrici - (Grote and Robinson, 1867)
Henry's Elfin
Other English Common Names: Henry's elfin
Synonym(s): Callophrys (Incisalia) henrici (Grote and Robinson, 1867) ;Incisalia henrici (Grote and Robinson, 1867)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Callophrys henrici (Grote and Robinson, 1867) (TSN 777852)
French Common Names: lutin des bleuets
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.117635
Element Code: IILEPE2230
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Insects - Butterflies and Moths - Butterflies and Skippers
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Mandibulata Insecta Lepidoptera Lycaenidae Callophrys
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Opler, P. A., and A. D. Warren. 2002. Butterflies of North America. 2. Scientific Names List for Butterfly Species of North America, north of Mexico. C.P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity, Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 79 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B02OPL01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Callophrys henrici
Taxonomic Comments: Given the regional foodplant specialization (see Gatrelle, 1999c for a review) it is possible this is a complex of sibling species, but evidence of multiple species is basically lacking at least east of Texas. Foodplants in Texas include at least species of Ungnadia,Sophora, Diospyros, Lupinus but some literature is vague regarding which subspecies are involved. The first three are normal foodplants. Otherwise, south of about Latitude 42 North, in a given area there is one primary or exclusive foodplant genus, so the foodplant races are essentially allopatric. Farther north foodplant claims vary and generally local foodplants are unknown. Some often repeated northern foodplant genera such as Prunus and Vaccinium need modern verification. The named so-called subspecies are mostly based on minor adult wing color differences and mostly do not correspond to any biological differences at least north of about Latitude 38 North. The most generally accepted subspecies is C. h. solatus from Texas, which is considered by some to be a separate species. C. h. margaretae which differs mainly in much longer tails, of peninsular Florida is also widely accepted. It is not clear that non-green form adults of "subspecies" viridissima have any reliable distinguishing feature and since most populations with this form have it as a minority form that "subspecies" is for now definable essentially as those Ilex feeding populations from along Delaware Bay in New Jersey to coastal North Carolina in which the frequency of green adults is not zero. That would apparently leave most holly feeding populations in southern coastal plain New Jersey as subspecies henrici. As with almost all tailed Theclinae, populations from the southeastern United States where arboreal lizards are prevalent (yahweus, margaretae) have longer tails than others. As these taxa are now defined by Gatrelle (1999), holly (Ilex spp.) feeding populations occur in subspecies henrici, viridissima (as redefined by Gatrelle), yahwehus, and margaretae. The last three are apparently entirely Ilex feeders and have no known significant biological differences among them other than some regional specialization within Ilex. Redbud (Cercis) feeding populations are also very widespread and this is the foodplant for most populations of turneri and for some populations now treated as typical henrici based on wing characters according to Gatrelle. Gatrelle would place Ontario populations in turneri based on the minor wing color characters. If that is accepted, he extends this "subspecies" well beyond redbud feeding populations. This would also mean two "subspecies" (henrici, turneri) adopted exotic Rhamnus as hostplants in the 1980s--in both cases from unknown native hosplants. If the Type of henrici really came from Philadelphia or nearby in Pennsylvania where the species has apparently always been quite rare, it was almost certainly from a redbud feeding population. If, as is quite likely, it really came from across the Delaware River in New Jersey where the species is common, it was a holly (Ilex opaca) feeder. Since the Type is not the green form its likely foodplant probably cannot be determined. A number of other foodplants are used by "subspecies henrici" of Gatrelle, including Nemopanthes (a close relative of Ilex) in at least eastern Canada, exotic Rhamnus in Massachusetts, redbud in and near Maryland and Pennsylvania, Ilex opaca widely in New Jersey and in Rhode Island with reports of several other genera in at least three other families mostly northward. As far as known green caterpillars vary more individually than by "subspecies". The red form could well be partly geographic since it apparently does not occur (except in prepupal larvae) in southern New Jersey holly feeders (Schweitzer) or West Virginia rebud feeders (Allen, 1997), and Layberry et al. (1998) report that Canadian larvae are green except shortly before pupation. It is unclear whether the red larval morph has any taxonomic significance. Both forms are nicely illustrated by Tveten and Tveten (1996) presumably both from Texas, and a green larva by Allen (1997). Because most of the subspecies are weakly defined and the characters used are mostly not concordant with foodplants northward, most information in this database will be found under the full species rather than the subspecies. A few recent authors use the generic name Deciduiphagus, which certainly appears to be a valid clade, and many mid 20th century works used Incisalia which probably should be restricted to the C. niphon group. The taxon solatus has not been carefully evaluated for this account. Dale Schweitzer
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 02Aug2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02May1999
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Very widespread and rather common in some areas. While this species is of conservation concern in a number of states and provinces, overall it is presently quite secure in large portions of the coastal plain, the Appalachians and parts of the Midwest. Subspecies margaretae and solatus may be rare.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (01Sep1998)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5 (23Aug2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SU), Arkansas (SNR), Connecticut (S2S3), Delaware (SU), District of Columbia (SH), Florida (S3S4), Georgia (S4?), Illinois (S4?), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S3), Kansas (S4), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (SU), Maine (S3), Maryland (S4), Massachusetts (S4), Michigan (S2S3), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (SNR), Missouri (S4), Nebraska (S2), New Hampshire (S2S3), New Jersey (S3S4), New Mexico (SNR), New York (S1), North Carolina (S4), Ohio (SU), Oklahoma (S3), Pennsylvania (S2S3), Rhode Island (S1S2), South Carolina (S4?), Tennessee (S5), Texas (SNR), Virginia (S4), West Virginia (S4), Wisconsin (S4)
Canada Manitoba (S2), New Brunswick (S2S3), Nova Scotia (S3), Ontario (S4), Prince Edward Island (S1), Quebec (S3?)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Southern Canada south to Florida and Texas.

Area of Occupancy: 501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: > 300

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Old literature often called it rare, but this reflected ignorance of the habitat. This species is often locally common and is by far the most common elfin in some areas such as Ohio, Appalachia and most of the coastal plain south of Atlantic County, New Jersey. Becoming much more common in southern New England and around Ottawa, Canada due to a recent host expansion to introduced RHAMNUS.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Increasing in some northern areas as it adapts to exotic Rhamnus foodplants but declining in others due to habitat loss.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Not intrinsically vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: A given population will be highly restricted to a single larval foodplant (genus or species) and usually more or less restricted to forest or woodland, but otherwise this species is not usually an extreme habitat specialist, although it often is a bit more specialized in terms of habitat than merely needing foodplnat. If viewed overall one could conclude this is a generalist but it is not in any given region.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Basically protection of habitat, conservative use of fire or better no fire, and probably also protection from gypsy moth spraying although its sensitivity to Btk is not actually known.

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Southern Canada south to Florida and Texas.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV
Canada MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC

Range Map
No map available.

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT New London (09011), Windham (09015)
FL Baker (12003), Clay (12019), Hamilton (12047), Leon (12073), Levy (12075), Liberty (12077), Nassau (12089), Okaloosa (12091), Walton (12131)
IA Fremont (19071)*, Johnson (19103), Lucas (19117), Mahaska (19123), Warren (19181)
MA Middlesex (25017), Norfolk (25021)
MI Baraga (26013), Barry (26015)*, Crawford (26039)*, Delta (26041), Ionia (26067)*, Kent (26081)*, Montcalm (26117)*, Newaygo (26123)*, Oceana (26127), Oscoda (26135)*, Presque Isle (26141)*
NE Lancaster (31109), Nemaha (31127), Otoe (31131), Pawnee (31133), Richardson (31147)
NH Carroll (33003)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Monmouth (34025), Ocean (34029)*, Passaic (34031)*, Sussex (34037)*
NY Albany (36001)
PA Juniata (42067), Mifflin (42087), Monroe (42089)*, York (42133)
RI Kent (44003), Newport (44005), Washington (44009)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Saco (01060002)+, Concord (01070005)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+*, Charles (01090001)+, Cape Cod (01090002)+, Narragansett (01090004)+, Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+, Quinebaug (01100001)+, Shetucket (01100002)+, Thames (01100003)+
02 Mohawk (02020004)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+*, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+*, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+*, Lehigh (02040106)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+*, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Lower Juniata (02050304)+, Lower Susquehanna (02050306)+
03 St. Marys (03070204)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Santa Fe (03110206)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+
04 Sturgeon (04020104)+, Fishdam-Sturgeon (04030112)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+*, Lower Grand (04050006)+*, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Muskegon (04060102)+*, Manistee (04060103)+*, Black (04070005)+*, Au Sable (04070007)+*
07 South Skunk (07080105)+, Middle Iowa (07080208)+, Lower Iowa (07080209)+, Lake Red Rock (07100008)+
10 Salt (10200203)+, Keg-Weeping Water (10240001)+, West Nishnabotna (10240002)+*, Nishnabotna (10240004)+*, Tarkio-Wolf (10240005)+, South Fork Big Nemaha (10240007)+, Big Nemaha (10240008)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Mostly forested or at least woodland, but sometimes tall shrub bogs, scrub etc. Described as ravines and streamsides in woody scrub for the extreme southwest of range (Opler, 1999). Many authors note forests, woods or occasionally barrens. Schweitzer considers this perhaps the most forest limited butterfly in southern New Jersey where it was largely overlooked for more than a century by elfin collectors working scrub and barrens. Habitat varies with local foodplant prefrence. In much of interior USA a species of more or less rich forest with redbud; mostly with hollies on Atlantic coast. Observations of single adults or habitats where the species is "very rare" probably refer to wandering females.
Adult Food Habits: Nectarivore
Food Comments: Caterpillar Hosts: Diverse plants in Texas; dahoon (Ilex cassine), American holly (I. opaca), and yaupon (I. vomitoria) in Florida and North Carolina. Redbud (Cercis canadensis), huckleberries and blueberries (Vaccinium), Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), and Viburnum species are selected in other locations. Adult Food: Where redbud is the caterpillar host, its flowers are the main nectar supply for adults. In other places, flowers of plants that are not the caterpillar host are used for nectar including willows, wild plum and hawthorn, and Forestiera (Lotts and Naberhaus 2017).
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Biological Research Needs: At a local level knowing the actual foodplant would be critical if this species were of concern.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Callophrys in part (Green Hairstreaks, Elfins, etc.)

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: A location where the species occurs, or has occurred with potential for persistence or regular recurrence. Minimally suitable habitat with foodplants where presence is verified by a specimen or photograph. High quality EOs may be metapopulations.
Mapping Guidance: For some species such as C. MOSSI each patch of the foodplant may need to be mapped. For many plant community boundaries can be useful in defining EOs. For all of them the EO is no larger than the community supporting the foodplant patches. Consult the habitat and food comments fields for species-specific information on what constitutes suitable habitat when mapping occurrences.
If habitats occur within an discrete community matrix such as within chaparral or pine barrens communities, all occurrences within the community should be regarded as one metapopulation EO. In many cases the plant community boundaries can be used for mapping it. Likewise in many cases all colonies in a given canyon or on a ridgeline would be one EO.
Note that for open habitat species forested patches are not habitat even if the foodplant occurs, while a few such as most redbud, holly, and RHAMNUS feeding populations of C. HENRICI do not make much use of open areas.

Separation Barriers: For most species urbanized or very open environments with no trees, shrubs, or foodplants are probably barriers. For most of the open habitat species forests may be barriers although it is not known if the adults simply fly over them. Brushy habitats and small expanses of shaded residential area do not normally constitute barriers to forest or woodland species.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 2 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Good data are few and habitat patch size varies enormously for the various species and with geography. Arnold (1983) working with remnant colonies of the Endangered C. MOSSI BAYENSIS documented maximum movements of only about 250 meters and says that colonies of the species occupy only up to 25 hectares. However this is an endangered taxon and this relictual colony may well have lost any dispersal tendencies. On the other hand D. Schweitzer has found single colonies of C. HENRICI in New Jersey often occupy 50-500 hectares and some of those would be best treated as merely demes in larger metapopulations. Some populations of C. AUGUSTINUS in that state appear to occupy more than 5000 hectares and certainly some populations of C. NIPHON occupy far larger areas than that. In general adults, at least females, probably move freely throughout habitat patches whatever their size but seldom leave them. An exception seems to be C. NIPHON at least in southern New Jersey where Schweitzer has collected larvae at three sites where he has never seen adults and that do not appear to be suitable adult habitat, one of them a single isolated roadside pine. Also in New Jersey has collected a female C. POLIOS more than 10 km from any known foodplant and isolated hollies sometimes have a few C. henrici larvae. Females of these species must disperse rather widely. Males of all species occupy definite perching areas (sometimes loosely called lekking areas), and for some species (HENRICI, IRUS) these may be much more restricted than where females lay eggs and thus adults eclose. Thus by casual observation the occurrence can appear far more localized than it really is. In New Jersey C. HENRICI seems much more localized at peak season than it does later when females wander widely through the forests. C. NIPHON is a notoriously good colonizer of planted pines. Despite all of this, observations of individuals even 100 meters out of at least marginal habitat are rare and so short separation distances seem warranted across unsuitable habitats, even though these should not preclude some gene flow. Species such as C. NIPHON, HENRICI, POLIOS, and AUGUSTINUS do seem to routinely occupy all suitable habitat even where it is extensive. In fact in some areas where pines are the dominant trees for many kilometers, occurrences of C. NIPHON are virtually indefinable. Thus it is reasonable to assume that observations 10 kilometers apart separated by largely suitable habitat do represent one occurrence for at least most species.
Since at least most species do colonize small scraps of habitat within a few kilometers of established colonies, C. IRUS most consistently so (Schweitzer), the ten kilometer distance should be used when major occurrences are separated by an intervening landscapes containing many patches of foodplant in at least marginal habitat with no gaps of more than two kilometers. Adults probably also recognize gross vegetation features such as forest, grassland or brushland and obviously inappropriate situations (e.g. open fields for C. HENRICI, dense swamps for most or all others) should be treated as unsuitable.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: This applies only in suitable habitats. The figure is arbitrary. In practice few habitats are that large, and in such cases inferred extent is the entire habitat At least species such as NIPHON, AUGUSTINUS, POLIOS and HENRICI which often occupy large habitats usually occupy all available habitat where they occur. For these species occurrences in this range (ca. 1000 hectares) are not unusual, although all of them also have occurrences of only a few hectares. C. IRUS and probably C. MOSSI occur in smaller patches but these are usually clustered and typically nearly all occupied and some metapopulations of the former occupy more than 1000 hectares (at least in New Jersey and New York). Still there are sufficient unknowns that occurrence over a large area should not be assumed on the basis of one observation,
Date: 19Jul2001
Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 01May2005
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Schweitzer, D.F.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14May2001

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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