NATURAL HISTORY

BARTRAMíS SCRUB-HAIRSTREAK BUTTERFLY }Strymon acis bartrami
FAMILY: Lycaenidae

DESCRIPTION: A small butterfly reaching just about 1 inch in size, the Bartramís scrub-hairstreak is predominantly gray with spots of white and rust.

HABITAT: The Bartramís scrub-hairstreak is found in the pine rockland habitat of South Florida. Pine rockland habitat is made up of exposed limestone that supports hardwood hammocks and saw palmetto.

RANGE: The Bartramís scrub-hairstreak never strays far from its host plant, the pineland croton, which is found in South Floridaís Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

MIGRATION: This species does not migrate.

BREEDING: Female butterflies lay their eggs on the flowering racemes of their host plant, the pineland croton.

LIFE CYCLE: The lifespan of this species is unknown.

FEEDING: Though observers have most often spotted the Bartramís scrub-hairstreak consuming nectar from the flowers of pineland croton, it has also been seen visiting flowers of other species, such as pine acacia, Spanish needles, saw palmetto, button sage, Bloggettís swallowewort, Everglades Key false buttonwood, locustberry and starrush whitetop, among others.

THREATS: The biggest threats to the Bartramís scrub-hairstreak are development and climate change. Rising seas could decimate its territory, particularly on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. Other threats include nonnative species introduction, insecticides and butterfly collecting.

POPULATION TREND: This species is in decline.

Photo courtesy USFWS