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Eastern Pine Elfin (Callophrys niphon)

Description: This small brown butterfly is brown on the upperside. The underside of the forewing is orange brown, with a black and white transverse line. The underside of the hindwing is strongly patterned, with a series of dark, rounded crescents toward the margin. This species is very similar to the much rarer Western Pine Elfin. In the latter the series of crescents on the hindwing are more pronounced and with sharper peaks, forming a distinct zig-zag pattern. Wingspan: 22 to 27 mm.

Maritime Distribution: Widespread in the southern half of New Brunswick, in Prince Edward Island and southern Nova Scotia. For Atlas results click here.

Provincial Ranks: NB: S5. NS: S4. PEI: S1.

Flight Period: Early May to late June.

Host Plant: White Pine (Pinus strobus) and Jack Pine (Pinus banksiana).

Notes: Eastern Pine Elfin is found in and around dry pine woods. They are often seen perched on the tips of pine branches and on sandy roads. Though it is among the largest elfins and the most likely to stray from its preferred habitat, it is still overlooked because of its early flight time and quick, darting flight.