The Juniper Hairstreak is identical to the Cedar Hairstreak except for the ventraI hindwing. The whole pattern of the underside is crisper and the ground colour has a pink tone not found on the Cedar Hairstreak.
Mature larvae are green with a broad diagonal white stripe on the side of each segment.
BC populations are the subspecies M.s. barryi Johnson, 1976 (TL: Union Co., OR), which ranges south through eastern WA to eastern OR.
The name Mitoura is derived from the Latin mitos (thread) and oura (tail); hence it refers to the threadlike tails. The common name for the genus is used here for the first time.
Adults of BC species in this genus are similar to Loranthomitoura but lack the strong, white median line on the ventral hindwing. Larvae of this genus feed on trees or shrubs related to western red cedar and juniper (Cupressaceae). For this reason adults are seen only when they are nectaring on flowers of perennial or annual plants at ground level or on low shrubs. They are not seen flying in open meadows. The genus is Nearctic, with two to nine species, depending on which authority one follows.
Juniper Hairstreak adults fly from early May to late June. The eggs hatch soon after being laid and the mature larva pupates by midsummer. The butterfly overwinters as a pupa. The larvae feed on Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) in the wild (CSG; FIS), but CSG has also reared them in captivity on western red cedar.
The Juniper Hairstreak occurs in two disjunct sets of populations, one from the southeastern Chilcotin southeast to the Okanagan Valley and the other near Windermere, in the bottom of the Rocky Mountain Trench. It has always been found in association with Rocky Mountain juniper. Since this tree is more widespread than the known records for the Juniper Hairstreak, the butterfly may eventually be found between the two known groups of populations. If the Rocky Mountain junipers that the larvae depend on for food are destroyed to improve grazing, the species will be threatened.
The Juniper Hairstreak is found from southwestern BC south to southern CA and northern MEX.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab
for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
2023-10-04 9:49:08 AM]
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