Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus)

Home  |  Butterflies & Skippers  |  Dragonflies & Damselflies  |  Wildflowers
DISTRIBUTION in North Carolina: Scattered in the Coastal Plain, and at least formerly in the southern mountains/foothills. No records for the northern mountains, essentially all of the Piedmont, and the northwestern Coastal Plain. The only recent records are from the southern half of the Coastal Plain, except for a surprising colony found in the eastern Piedmont (Franklin County) in 2002.
ABUNDANCE in North Carolina: Rare to very rare; range certainly is poorly known in NC; more widespread in the Sandhills than elsewhere, but even there it is rare. It is very rare in the Piedmont and mountains. The species has declined in NC in recent decades and is now one of the rarest butterflies (that has a "wide" range) in the state.
FLIGHT PERIOD in North Carolina: A single brood; in the Coastal Plain mainly during the last 20 days of April, with a handful of records in May. The Franklin County records are for mid- and late April; probably late April to mid-May in the mountains. The flight is later than Brown or Henry's elfins, where they occur with Frosted Elfin. This species has a remarkably narrow flight period, seemingly only two to three weeks long in the Sandhills.
Distribution, abundance, flight period, and map information provided by Notes on the Butterflies of North Carolina.