Plants and Animals

Erora laeta Early hairstreak

Key Characteristics

Pale mint green with red-orange postmedian and submarginal bands. Females have much bright blue above and males with blue more restricted. Caterpillars range from green to reddish brown with darker patches.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: SC - Special Concern (rare or uncertain; not legally protected)
Global Rank: G2G3 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from imperiled to vulnerable
State Rank: S1 - Critically imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Alger 1 1964
Emmet 2 2018

Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Beech forest, openings, edges, and sun-dappled trails in northern hardwoods containing beech. Fond of landing on unpaved roads and trails. Major food plant is beech (Fagus grandifolia) and beaked hazelnut. Has a penchant for living in tree-tops. Adults have been seen nectaring on any plants except common milkweed and strawberry. Adults may also be found taking moisture and nutrients from sandy forest trails.

Specific Habitat Needs

Host plant needed in: Dry-mesic northern forest.

Natural Community Types

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Management Recommendations

Threats to this species include disease, pathogens and parasites; industrial, residential and/or recreational development; forestry practices; decline of nectar sources; use of pesticides and herbicides; and lack of scientific knowledge. Decline in nectar sources (e.g., fleabane (Erigeron sp.) and ox-eyed daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) may be a problem in some areas. Spongy moth spraying may pose a significant threat. In general, surveys are needed to determine this species' current status and distribution in the state. Research to obtain information on this species' life history and ecology and assess threats to its conservation also is warranted. Sites at which this species has been documented should be protected and maintained. Adequate and suitable habitat at these sites need to be maintained including sufficient densities of the species' host plants. The habitats with which this species is associated and the ecological processes needed to maintain these natural communities need to be protected and managed.

Active Period

Flight from second week of May to fourth week of June

Survey Methods

The species overwinters as an egg on twigs of its host. Spring larvae feed on foliage and developing flowers from mid-June to mid-July. The summer brood larvae feed on developing seed heads from early August through mid-September. In Michigan, the adult flight period extends from mid-May to mid- to late July because of the two broods. Adults of this species are generally difficult to detect because they spend most of their time in the forest canopy. Also, when they are on the ground, they tend to remain motionless and are often overlooked.

Visual, aerial net

Survey Period: From second week of May to fourth week of July

Time of Day: Daytime


Survey References

  • Klots, A.B. 1951. Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 349pp.
  • Martin, J.E.H. 1977. The Insects and Arachnids of Canada (Part 1): Collecting, preparing, and preserving insects, mites, and spiders. Publication 1643. Biosystematics Research Institute, Ottawa.

Technical References

  • Cohen, J.G. 2000. Natural community abstract for mesic northern forest. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI. 7 pp.
  • Cohen, J.G. 2002. Natural community abstract for dry-mesic northern forest. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI. 12 pp.
  • Glassberg, J. 1999. Butterflies through Binoculars: The East. Oxford University Press, New York. 242pp.
  • Klots, A.B. 1951. Peterson Field Guides: Eastern Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 349pp.
  • Nielsen, M.C. 1999. Michigan butterflies and skippers: A field guide and reference. Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E-2675, East Lansing. 248pp.
  • Stehr, F. W. 1997. Michigan Lepidoptera Survey Sites and Seasonal Occurrence of Michigan's Listed Species Annual Report 1997. 30 pp.+ MI Lepidoptera Survey Data Collection Form