Frosted Elfin

Species Name: Callophrys irus

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Species Distribution in Massachusetts


Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Special Concern

Habitat Description

Xeric, open disturbance-dependent habitats on sandy soil. Heathy/grassy opening in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens, but also similar anthropogenic habitats such as utility line rights-of-way, railways, old sand/gravel pits, and airports are common.

Threats to Survival

Habitat loss and fire suppression. Generalist parasitoids, aerial insecticide spraying, non-target herbiciding, excessive deer browse of larval host plants and off-road vehicles also contribute to their decline.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

Encouraging growth of wild indigo and lupine and open habitat structure by managed burning.