Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

Common Name begins with:
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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in LYCAENIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameHarvester by Paul Hart => Raven Rock State Park, 2004-04-04
[View PDF]
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameFeniseca tarquinius
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Present across the mountains and Piedmont, but spottily distributed over most of the Coastal Plain. Likely absent in some far eastern counties.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Widespread, but scarce; most "numerous" in the mountains, though uncommon there. Rare to uncommon in most of the Piedmont, and very rare in the Coastal Plain. This is always a good find during the year for most butterfliers. Considering that most records are of single individuals, rarely two in a day, the state has a good handful of double-digit counts (three of 13 or more), almost all in April and May.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Present from the latter half of March into early October; several to many broods. Highest counts are from the first brood (April). This species apparently has a very short generation cycle, perhaps as short as three weeks (Allen 1997). In WV, there "may be as many as 6 or more flights" (Allen 1997). More data needed in NC to determine number of flights and flight periods, especially in the Coastal Plain.
HabitatHABITAT: Favored habitats are alder-lined shores of lakes and ponds, openings along wooded creeks, and other types of alder thickets. It can also be found in openings in hardwood forests, generally near water, such as along dirt roads near creeks. It is usually not far from woolly aphid colonies. In general, however, most adults are seen by serendipity; it is generally a waste of time to intentionally search suitable habitat for this species.
See also Habitat Account for General Wet-Mesic Hardwood Forests
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Caterpillars feed on woolly aphids, especially on and near Hazel Alder (Alnus serrulata) growing along streamsides and in swampy woods. Aphids also frequently inhabit American Beech (Fagus grandifolia), and a few colonies of Harvesters have been associated with this tree species. Adults do not nectar; they imbibe moisture and minerals from mud, or take aphid honeydew, dung, or carrion.
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is an elusive butterfly that can be difficult to find. Harvesters often perch on leaves higher than 6 feet off the ground. They often remind one of an azure or a hairstreak in behavior as they typically fly at head height (or higher), with a quick and darting flight. They are most often seen on mud or wet ground, on dirt roads through hardwood forests, less often at damp spots on wooded trails. Such individuals are often ridiculously tame and can frequently be poked or enticed onto one's finger for close scrutiny.
State RankS4
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Harvester
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Caswell Co.
Harvester - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Rob Van Epps
Comment: June 15, 2008. Mecklenburg Co.
Harvester - Click to enlarge
Photo by: W. Cook
Comment: Buncombe Co.; 7-July-2002
Harvester - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Steve Hall
Comment: larva among aphids
Harvester - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Steve Hall
Comment: female ovipositing
Harvester - Click to enlarge