Strophius Hairstreak (Allosmaitia strophius) life history
Strophius Hairstreak (Allosmaitia strophius) Life History

Ova, 11-8-15

Neonate, 11-9-15

First instars, 11-10-15

Second instar, 11-14-15

Third instar, 11-16-15

Fourth instar, 11-21-15

Yellowish fourth instar, 11-26-15

Fourth instar in feeding position, 11-22-15

Pupa, 11-28-15

Fresh adult Strophius Hairstreak, ventral view, 12-14-15

I was given several eggs by Richard Boscoe in November, 2015. The host known to be used in this area is called Manzanita or Barbados Cherry (Malpighia glabra). The caterpillars feed primarily on flowers and fruits.

My plants had very few blooms, so I collected a good number of berries and kept them refrigerated. Once the blooms ran out, I began feeding the fruits. Unfortunately, some of the caterpillars that ate them died; I suspected the fruit had gone bad. I did have fruits and flowers of a Manzanita relative available, an ornamental plant called Yellow Butterfly Vine (Mascagnia macroptera). I offered this and, fortunately, the caterpillars readily accepted it.

Like many hairstreak larvae, the caterpillars absorb some pigments from the food they eat. As mine were feeding primarily on yellowish flowers and green fruits, they were not as brightly colored as some I have seen pictured. Still, they definitely had character. The segments were shiny, so that from a distance the body had a metallic sheen.

The journey from egg to adult took just over a month, a very reasonable amount of time in mild November-December temperatures.

Strophius Hairstreak Page