Caterpillar Identification Guide

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) caterpillar

Common Name: Henry's Elfin

Genus-Species: Callaphrys henrici

Host Plants: Redbud (Ceris canadensis), huckleberries and blueberries (Vaccinium species), Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa), and Viburnum species.

Habitat: A wide variety of woodlands with brushy undergrowth. The host plant of this species in Wisconsin has not been reported, but in Michigan and other northern states the host plants include maple-leaved viburnum, blueberries, and huckleberries.

Comments: Henrys Elfin is listed as a species of special concern in Wisconsin. In a conservation assessment for the eastern region of the U.S. Forest service, Kathryn Kirk (WI DNR) lists this species as the least encountered Elfin in Wisconsin. Many of the recent observations of Henry’s Elfin have been in areas of Oak savannah habitat where Lupine grows and studies of populations of butterflies that use this as a host plant, Karner Blues and Frosted Elfins, are ongoing. But these areas may not be the prime habitat areas for Henry’s Elfins in the state, and more fieldwork is necessary to determine the distribution and abundance of this species.