Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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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 NameHenry's Elfin by Paul Hart => Raven Rock State Park, 2004-03-19
[View PDF]
Click to enlarge
[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameCallophrys henrici
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Assumed to be statewide, but relatively few records for the mountains and western Piedmont. Recent records from Rockingham and Yadkin counties have filled in gaps in the western Piedmont. Perhaps completely absent from the northern mountains, as the elevation there may be too high for the species.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Uncommon to locally fairly common, and reasonably widespread, in the Coastal Plain and eastern Piedmont; surprisingly rare in the western Piedmont, and very rare in the lower mountains. Found in Clay County in 2001, for a first mountain report, in Macon County in 2007, in Buncombe County in 2008, in Madison County in 2012, and in Cherokee County in 2019.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: A single brood; downstate from early March to late April, very rarely to mid-May (peaking with the peak in flowering of Redbud). The mountain flight is certainly later, from late March to mid-May.
HabitatHABITAT: Highly varied; ranges from xeric upland hardwoods, to mesic woods, to pocosin margins, to clearcuts, to swamps! Often found along trails or dirt roads near these forested areas. Forests with evergreen species of hollies (Ilex spp.) seem to be preferred; over most of the state, areas where American Holly (Ilex opaca) is common may be a key feature.
See also Habitat Account for General Holly Thickets
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Evergreen hollies (Ilex spp.) seem to be the main foodplants in NC. American Holly is favored, but other evergreen species such as gallberries and Yaupon Holly (I. vomitoria) are apparently used in the Coastal Plain. Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a foodplant in parts of its range, but in NC this tree is often absent where the elfins are present, though it likely is used in the mountains and western Piedmont. The species commonly nectars on flowers of Redbud, blueberries (Vaccinium spp.), and Sweetleaf (Symplocos tinctoria).
CommentsCOMMENTS: This is not as colonial a species as with most elfins and hairstreaks, but you can find four or five in a day, rarely 10 or more, in some areas in the Coastal Plain. It may be searched for, but never expected, in forests with hollies. To see this species, you must plan to be afield often in late March and April, preferably in the eastern half of the state. Nonetheless, this is the most often encountered elfin in the eastern part of the state. It is gratifying to see a few new records in recent years from the mountain and western Piedmont regions, though there are still no records for the northern mountains, nor for heavily-worked Guilford and Forsyth counties in the Piedmont.
State RankS4
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymIncisalia henrici
Other Name

Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo Gallery for Henry's Elfin
Photo by: Scott Hartley
Comment: Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Moore Co.; 2004-Apr-07
Henry's Elfin - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Randy Newman
Comment: Fort Macon State Park, Carteret Co.; 2005-March-30, greenish cast
Henry's Elfin - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Roger Rittmaster
Comment: Durham Co.
Henry's Elfin - Click to enlarge