Little Metalmark – Calephelis virginiensis

The Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis) is found in the southeastern United States.

It’s host plant is Yellow Thistle Cirsium horridulum. In our area, Yellow Thistle has purple or white blooms.

This odd little caterpillar looks as if it has a mohawk haircut.

We have found them on the underside of Yellow Thistle leaves. Holes in the leaves alert us to the fact that there has been caterpillar activity.

Leaves are so prickly that it is not comfortable to touch the plant without wearing leather gloves.

It is a small butterfly with only 1/2 to 1 inch from wing tip to wing tip.

The top of its wings are dark gray and dark rusty orange. Underneath and on top of the wings, it has metallic spots. It is no wonder it is called a Metalmark.