Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon rufofusca) life history
Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon rufofusca) Life History



First instar, day 2

Penultimate (third?) instar

Final instar, white

Final instar, colored

Prepupal caterpillar


Fresh adult Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak (7-29-13)

Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak larvae feed primarily on the seeds of Balddermallow, Herissantia crispa. The seedpod is a large, mostly hollow structure with seeds near the similar; it is very similar to the fruit of Balloonvine. The caterpillars spend almost all of their lives inside the seed pod. Those that I have found inside fresh pods are generally an off-white shade. However, when I have collected them to raise, their bodies begin to take on the color of the pods they are being fed: green or various shades of brown. They then become a reddish shade just before pupation.

Bladdermallow is also the host for Erichson's White-Skipper. Since the skipper larvae feed on leaves rather than seeds, the two species do not compete. However, Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreaks do have to compete with a micro-moth called Mimoschinia rufofascialis. Larvae of this moth are called "Barberpole caterpillars" because of their bright red stripes.

In the summer of 2013, Herrisantia crispa was abundant and so were the hairstreaks and their immature stages. Timing wasn't right for me to raise them all the way through, but I documented as many stages of development as I could. The adults usually emerged 7 days after pupation began.

Red-crescent Scrub-Hairstreak Page