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Thicket Hairstreak Butterfly

Eastern Washington

Thicket Hairstreak Butterfly - Mitoura spinetorum
Thicket hairstreak butterfly or Mitoura spinetorum

Thicket hairstreak butterflies or Mitoura spinetorum are metallic blue above and rich brown on their ventral wings, with a zig-zag "W" line and black chevrons with splashes of orange and blue on the ventral hindwing. They are uncommon in the dry pine woods of the east slope of the Cascade Mountains, in the Kettle River Range, and Blue Mountains.

Thicket hairstreak caterpillars are adapted to rely for their food only on dwarf mistletoes that parasitize ponderosa pine, interior douglas fir trees and other conifers. While they live mainly in the canopy of mature forests, the males come to the ground bask, puddle and sip nectar at flowers.

Thicket hairstreak butterfly male
Thicket hairstreak butterfly

Thicket Hairstreak butterfly host plant Western Dwarf Mistletoe or Arceuthobium campylopodum growing on Ponderosa pine
A thicket hairstreak host plant,
Western dwarf mistletoe growing on ponderosa pine