Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Moss’s Elfin

Moss’s Elfin

Callophrys mossii mossii  [BlueListed] – Photo by James Miskelly

Range: Moss’ Elfin ranges from southern BC to southern California, east to the Rocky Mountains.  The local subspecies (subspecies mossii) is found only in the region from south-western BC to Oregon.

Wingspan: 2.5 cm

Habitat: Rocky outcrops, cliffs, and hilltops

Host plant: Broad-leaved Stonecrop

Lifecycle: Adults are on the wing from mid-March to early May . They nectar from a variety of spring flowers, such as Spring Gold and lay eggs on stonecrop.  Eggs hatch soon after laying and larvae feed on stonecrop buds, flowers, and leaves. Larvae pupate by late spring and the pupae remain dormant until the following spring.

Threats: residential/commercial development; trampling on rocky hilltops; excessive deer grazing on stonecrop.