Callophrys dumetorum perplexa

Perplexing Hairstreak

This distinctive green hairstreak (sometimes referred to as a Bramble or Lotus Hairstreak) can be common in the spring along mountain trails where deerweed and California buckwheat grow. It's an early flyer; my photos are from mid-February to late May. The upperside is gray in males and brown in females, something apparent in flight, but they perch with wings closed.

The host in our area is deerweed, Acmispon glaber (formerly Lotus scoparius), and various buckwheats. Dumetorum is single-brooded, and overwinters as a pupa in the litter at the base of the host plant. Larvae feed from April-July. Taxonomically, these are a mess; expect the status to change.

Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum - Bramble Hairstreak
Another harbinger of spring, the Bramble Hairstreak, also known as the Perplexing or Lotus Hairstreak, Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum. Bear Creek, San Gabriel Mountains, March 18, 2007.
Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum - Bramble Hairstreak
This dumetorum was along the West Fork Trail up San Gabriel Canyon. March 4, 2012.
Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum - Bramble Hairstreak
Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum, same day/place as above.
Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum - Bramble Hairstreak
Another one from the San Gabriels, also March 4, 2012.
Acmispon glaber, formerly Lotus scoparius. Deerweed.
Deerweed, Acmispon glaber, is a host of Callophrys dumetorum dumetorum.
Callophrys dumetorum superperplexa - Bramble Hairstreak
This is at Alder Creek along Sherman Pass Road in Tulare County; it should probably be called Callophrys dumetorum near superperplexa. May 15, 2014.

©Dennis Walker