Little Metalmark
Calephelis virginiensis

Description:
Small butterfly measuring up to 1" in length. The upperside of the wings is a rusty orange color with dark fringes. The underside is a brighter orange. Caterpillars are light green with long white hairs. The chrysalis is green and cream with dark markings.
Range:
Southeast United States
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Most common in Florida during late summer and fall, though caterpillars can be found March to November.
Habitat(s):
Coastal areas, grassy areas, open pine woods, savannah, and salt-marsh meadows.
Reproduction:
Eggs are laid on host plant leaves.
Natural History:
Can be seen quickly flying among low vegetation. Caterpillars prefer to feed at night and on cloudy days.
Food:
Larval host plants include the native purple thistle (Cirsium horridulum) and occasionally climbing hempweed (Mikania scandens). Nectar host plants are flat-flowered composites (Asteraceae).
Comments:
The only metalmark of the southeast. For more information, visit Butterflies and Moths of North America.
Synonyms:


Mary Keim, 2014.
Mary Keim, 2017.
Mary Keim, 2011. Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis) on Rosy Camphorweed (Pluchea baccharis).