The Xami hairstreak (Callophrys xami) is a small North American hairstreak butterfly in the family Lycaenidae. It is multivoltine (many generations per year), and flies in small numbers especially between April and December, but in some hospitable climates they can be found flying year round. Callophrys xami inhabits rocky canyons from Guatemala north to southeastern Arizona and central Texas. The male butterflies perch on high stalks to survey and aggressively defend specific territories that have boundaries clearly marked by geographical features. A male may defend a particular territory for several weeks at a time. Although their host plants are generally abundant, the Xami hairstreak is only patchily distributed; females mate and lay eggs in male territories. Females lay one egg at a time in small numbers on a host plant, usually on the underside of the leaf, taking great care in choosing the site to oviposit. Adults eat flower nectar.
Larvae feed on succulents in the Crassulaceae family. They are recorded to prefer Echeveria gibbifflora, but eat other species in the genera Echeveria and Sedum as well. The larvae burrow into the thick leaves and eat from the inside. About 75% of lycaenid larvae associate with ants; the Xami hairstreak appears to have ant associations also. Ziegler (1964) noted that when caterpillars burrowed into Echeveria gibbifflora leaves, small drops of liquid would drip from the opening of the tunnel they made, attracting the interest of small black ants which appeared to loosely tend the larvae.
The small local distribution of Callophrys xami make individual populations susceptible to extinction, as has occurred in southern Texas, however globally the conservation status of the xami hairstreak is secure.
The genus Callophrys is known by many synonyms, including Xamia and Sandia.
(Butterflies and moths of North America; Cordero 2000; Cordero and Soberon 1990; Cordero 1996; Soberon et al. 1988; Ziegler and Escalante 1964)
- Butterflies and moths of North America. Xami Hairstreak, Callophyrus xami. Retrieved November 2, 2011 from http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Callophrys-xami" target= "_blank">http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Callophrys-xami
- Cordero, C. 2000. Trade-off between fitness components in males of the polygynous butterfly Callophrys xami (Lycaenidae): the effect of multiple mating on longevity. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 48(6):458-462. DOI: 10.1007/s002650000261
- Cordero, C. 1996. The courtship behavior of Callophrys xami (Lycaenidae) Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera vol. 32, pp. 99-106.
- Cordero, C.R. and J. Soberon, 1990. Non-resource based territoriality in males of the butterflyXamia xami (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 3(6):719-732. DOI: 10.1007/BF01065961
- Soberon, M.J., M.C. Cordero, B.B. Benrey, P.P. Parlange, G-S. Carlos, and B. Gerardo, 1988. Patterns of oviposition by Sandia xami (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) in relation to food plant apparency. Ecological Entomology 13(1):71-79. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2311.1988.tb00334.x
- Ziegler JB,and T. Escalante, 1964. Observations on the life history of Callophrys xami (Lycaenidae). J Lepid Soc. 18(2):85–89
- Zipcode Zoo. 2009. Callophrys xami Retrieved November 2, 2011 from http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/C/Callophrys%5Fxami/" target="_blank">http://zipcodezoo.com/Animals/C/Callophrys%5Fxami/
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