Wisconsin Native Caterpillars
Henry's Elfin Caterpillar
Genus-Species: Callaphrys henrici
Description: Green to reddish with white chevrons.
Chrysalis: Mottled brown.
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
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.
Find instructions on how to design a butterfly-friendly habitat including a catalog of favorite flowers
guaranteed to attract butterflies.
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about caterpillars. This quiz is intended for fun, in
a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
How does this magic happen? Learn about metamorphosis - the process of transformation from an
immature form to an adult bitterfly.