New York Natural Heritage Program
Henry's Elfin
Callophrys henrici (Grote and Robinson, 1867)
Insects

General Description [-]
This is a brownish tailed elfin that often perches on shrubs or even small trees, often in forests or tall shrub areas. In much of its range it tends not to occur in habitats frequented by other eflins.

Identifying Characteristics [-]
While any good image of this species should be identifiable, a few specimens are suggested for newly found occurrences because there may be sibling species or subspecies involved.

Characters Most Useful for Identification [-]
In the field habitat will be a strong clue for identification, since the only other tailed elfin (Frosted Elfin - Callophrys irus) is closely associated with lupine (Lupinus perennis) and Indigo (Baptisia sp.). The Henry's Elfin is also much browner and much more likely to be perched in shrubs or trees. It has some gray beneath,, but not nearly as much as Frosted Elfins do. Other useful characters include lack of a dark spot near the tail and more white along the separation of the paler and darker portions of the hindwing. All other elfins in New York lack the tails on the hindwing.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
The adults are most easily identified, but larvae can also be identified. The foodplant is often a strong clue as to the identity.

Behavior [-]
The adults tend to perch one to several meters high on evergreen or recently expanded foliage.

Diet [-]
The larval foodplant in New York is not known. Blueberry is often reported but has never been documented. Species in the holly family would be the most likely native foodplants, but introduced buckthorns will probably eventually become the main foodplants.
Henry's Elfin Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
There is only one brood range wide. The flight season is poorly documented in New York, but is presumably most of May with a few stragglers into June, and probab starts at the end of April in some years southward. The larvae mature within a month, unless it is still cold.
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Reproducing Larvae present and active Pupae or prepupae present
The time of year you would expect to find Henry's Elfin reproducing (blue shading), larvae present and active (green shading) and pupae or prepupae present (orange shading) in New York.