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Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly (Calycopis cecrops)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly



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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image of the Red-Banded-Hairstreak-Butterfly Thumbnail image of the Red-Banded-Hairstreak-Butterfly

The bold reddish-orange line of color on a taupe-colored wing offered inspiration when deciding on a common name for the Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly.



Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Red-banded Hairstreaks are fast in flight and tend to stay lower to the ground than other butterflies. When resting with wings up, the bright swish of red-orange on their wings is highlighted by the same coloring on the edge of the wing by the head. A splash of bright blue near the rear of the butterfly is also eye-catching.

Males perch on branches, looking for potential mates and guarding their territory from encroachment by other insects. Females lay fertilized eggs on the leaf litter of host plants. Caterpillars eat the dead and fallen leaves off of plants like sumac, oak, and wax myrtle as well as other detritus on the forest floor. They look more like brown slugs than typical, tubular caterpillars. Two to four generations a year are common across its range. Adults drink nectar from milkweed, dogbane, yarrow, and sumac blossoms. Adults can be found in coastal areas, sandy forests, woodland edges and fields.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Striped or banded insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Lepidoptera
        Family: Lycaenidae
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          Genus: Calycopis
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            Species: cecrops
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Calycopis cecrops
Category: Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 24mm to 35mm (0.94" to 1.37")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, red, orange, white, blue
Descriptors: flying, line, band, curve
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 24mm (0.9in) and 35mm (1.4in)
Lo: 24mm
Md: 29.5mm
Hi: 35mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
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Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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