28 March 2006

Definitely an elfin

elfn1

This little butterfly is either the Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus) or Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici). I am leaning towards the former species.

I photographed it in College Park, Maryland around noon today. Because of its diminutive size, when I first saw it I thought it was a moth. The picture below will give you an idea of its size relative to the leaves and the grass blades.

elfn2

Adult Frosted Elfins are around in the spring for a rather short period of 2 months or so. This is the first time I have photographed this species. Hopefully, the next time the pictures will be better.

1 comment:

tony g said...

it's great that you got a picture. Henry's Elfin here is tied to the blooming of certain legumes and generally the flight season is only a couple of weeks. besides that they tend to frequent the highest blooms on the plants (which are smallish trees here -- ca. 15 feet) and getting photos is ridiculously difficult. i've been trying this spring, and failed, and now they're gone.

tony g