Western Pine Elfin
Photo by Jamie Fenneman, with permission
Western Pine Elfin (Incisalia eryphon)
Medium-small brown butterfly with vivid zigzag markings on the ventral (under) side of the wings in black, tan, and cream. Adults fly early May to early June. One larval foodplant, our coastal Jack pine, where eggs are laid at the base of needles. Adults nectar on willow, dandelion, yarrow, and a variety of wild plants that flower in the late spring. If you approach a pine tree in the spring and see a small brown butterfly take off swiftly and straight up, you have probably seen a Pine Elfin.