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Thorne's Hairstreak (Callophyrs [gryneus]* thornei) is one of the most localized butterflies within the continental United States. It is only known to occur on Otay Mountain within San Diego County. The caterpillar for this butterfly has only one host plant, Tecate Cypress (Cupressus forbsesii). The butterfly has two flight seasons, one from late February into mid April and the other from late May to the end of June. The greatest threat for this butterfly's survival is fire, which its host plant tree must have. Although if the tree has not matured to the point of having viable seeds within its closed-cone, then fires will be catastrophic to them and therefore cause the extirpation of the butterfly.

On sunny days this butterfly can be seen perched on the cypress near the top sunning itself. To get better views, gently shaking the tree branch will usually bring it lower.

*gryneus is in brackets because many people believe it is a subspecies of gryneus. My research will hopefully prove it is a subspecies of another butterfly or a separate species. Since most all field guides have it under gryneus, I am being conservative. ---------------------------------------------------------- Michael Klein

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