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State Butterflies
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New Mexico State Butterfly

Sandia Hairstreak Butterfly

New Mexico State Butterfly - Sandia Hairstreak

(Callophrys mcfarlandi Ehrlich & Clench)

Adopted on April 6, 2003.

The Sandia hairstreak, or (Callophrys macfarlandi,) is the official state butterfly of New Mexico, adopted on April 6, 2003. The Sandia hairstreak was discovered in Albuquerque in 1959 at La Cueva Canyon and can easily be found in New Mexico's wide open spaces, towns and cities among native beargrass. The butterfly is gold and green in color, while its caterpillar is pink, lavender and white. In 2002, the state legislature studied the possibility of including the Sandia hairstreak as an official symbol of New Mexico. In 2003, the legislature adopted the Sandia hairstreak as the official New Mexico State Butterfly.

New Mexico State Butterfly: Sandia Hairstreak

New Mexico State Butterfly - Sandia HairstreakThe Sandia Hairstreak (Callophrys mcfarlandi) is a species of butterfly native to North America. A relatively rare butterfly with a limited range, it was discovered in La Cueva Canyon, Albuquerque in 1959 by "a 4-H kid" and described the following year. The Sandia Hairstreak was made one of the state insects of New Mexico in a 2002 bill approved the following year.

Characteristics of New Mexico Sandia Hairstreak Butterfly

 

Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.9 - 3.2 cm).

Identification: Tailless. Upper-side of male is brown; female is reddish brown with a narrow black border. Underside yellow-green; white post-median line bordered with black toward the wing base.

Life history: Eggs are laid on flower stalks of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits.

Flight: Two flights from May-June.

Caterpillar hosts: Bear-grass (Nolina texana) in the agave family (Agavaceae).

Adult food: Nectar of host plant flowers.

Habitat: Yucca-agave desert.

Range: Very local: Southeast Colorado south through New Mexico and west Texas to northeast Mexico.

New Mexico House Joint Memorial

HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 1 45th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2002

INTRODUCED BY Max Coll A JOINT MEMORIAL RECOMMENDING THAT NEW MEXICO CONSIDER NAMING THE SANDIA HAIRSTREAK THE OFFICIAL NEW MEXICO BUTTERFLY.

WHEREAS, New Mexico's state symbols include the official animal, cookie, flower, insect, grass, fish, fossil, bird, question, gem and vegetable, but do not currently include an official butterfly; and

WHEREAS, adding an official butterfly symbol would add color, beauty and diversity to the state's array of existing symbols; and WHEREAS, at least seventeen other states have official butterfly symbols, and these states include New Mexico's neighbors Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia; and

WHEREAS, butterflies enhance the beauty of the environment, and naming a butterfly symbol would benefit tourism and the economy of New Mexico by bringing attention to a New Mexico butterfly, by adding credibility to New Mexico among entomologists, which may encourage scientific research in the state, and by providing educational opportunities for study and appreciation of the butterfly and its habitat; and

WHEREAS, naming a New Mexico butterfly would enhance awareness of the importance of butterflies, in ecosystems as important pollinators for wildflowers and agricultural crops and promote the conservation of our natural wildlife heritage; and

WHEREAS, children love butterflies, and naming a New Mexico butterfly would bring joy to New Mexico's children; and

WHEREAS, the Sandia hairstreak butterfly is thought of as uniquely New Mexican; and

WHEREAS, the Sandia hairstreak symbolizes the ability of New Mexican residents to thrive year-round in a semiarid climate where different years bring floods and droughts and where the terrain is beautiful but rugged; and
 
WHEREAS, the Sandia hairstreak is one of about twenty-five different species of hairstreaks in the gossamer-wing family residing in New Mexico, and it is small and gold and green in color and it lives in and among beargrass plants, where its pink, lavender and white caterpillars eat beargrass flowers, making the butterfly and its caterpillar easy to identify; and

WHEREAS, the Sandia hairstreak was discovered in Albuquerque in 1959 in La Cueva canyon and can be easily found by children among the native beargrass in New Mexico's wide-open spaces as well as in towns and cities where the beargrass plant grows; and

WHEREAS, the Sandia hairstreak, a New Mexico native, does not migrate, but stays in the New Mexico landscape year-round and has not been designated as the state butterfly for any other state;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the appropriate legislative interim committee be requested to consider recommendations for the adoption of the Sandia hairstreak, a native New Mexican butterfly, as the official state butterfly, which contributes to the beauty, diversity and enchantment of the New Mexico landscape; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the appropriate state agencies be encouraged to promote the Sandia hairstreak, a native New Mexican butterfly, as the official state butterfly, which contributes to the beauty, diversity and enchantment of the New Mexico landscape; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, the secretary of state, the tourism department, the state parks division of the energy, minerals and natural resources department, the state land office and other appropriate state agencies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the wild friends dancers be commended for raising public awareness of the butterfly with their original dance presentation entitled "The New Mexico Gossamer Wing" at the 2002 legislative session.

New Mexico Law

The law designating the Sandia hairstreak butterfly as the official New Mexico state butterfly is found in the 2013 New Mexico Statutes, Article 3, Section 12-4-4 O.

Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
Article 3 - State Seal, Song and Symbols
Section 12-3-4 - State flower; state bird; state tree; state fish; state animal; state vegetables; state gem; state grass; state fossil; state cookie; state insect; state question; state answer; state nickname; state butterfly; state reptile; state amphibian; state amphibian; state aircraft; state historic railroad; state tie; state necklace.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 12-3-4 (2013)

12-3-4. State flower; state bird; state tree; state fish; state animal; state vegetables; state gem; state grass; state fossil; state cookie; state insect; state question; state answer; state nickname; state butterfly; state reptile; state amphibian; state aircraft; state historic railroad; state tie; state necklace. (2011)
A. The yucca flower is adopted as the official flower of New Mexico.
B. The chaparral bird, commonly called roadrunner, is adopted as the official bird of New Mexico.
C. The nut pine or pinon tree, scientifically known as Pinus edulis, is adopted as the official tree of New Mexico.
D. The native New Mexico cutthroat trout is adopted as the official fish of New Mexico.
E. The native New Mexico black bear is adopted as the official animal of New Mexico.
F. The chile, the Spanish adaptation of the chilli, and the pinto bean, commonly known as the frijol, are adopted as the official vegetables of New Mexico.
G. The turquoise is adopted as the official gem of New Mexico.
H. The blue grama grass, scientifically known as Bouteloua gracillis, is adopted as the official grass of New Mexico.
I. The coelophysis is adopted as the official fossil of New Mexico.
J. The bizcochito is adopted as the official cookie of New Mexico.
K. The tarantula hawk wasp, scientifically known as Pepsis formosa, is adopted as the official insect of New Mexico.
L. "Red or green?" is adopted as the official question of New Mexico.
M. "Red and green or Christmas" is adopted as the official answer of New Mexico.
N. "The Land of Enchantment" is adopted as the official nickname of New Mexico.
O. The Sandia hairstreak is adopted as the official butterfly of New Mexico.
P. The New Mexico whiptail lizard, scientifically known as Cnemidophorus neomexicanus, is adopted as the official reptile of New Mexico.
Q. The New Mexico spadefoot toad, scientifically known as Spea multiplicata, is adopted as the official amphibian of New Mexico.
R. The hot air balloon is adopted as the official aircraft of New Mexico.
S. The Cumbres and Toltec scenic railroad is adopted as the official historic railroad of New Mexico.
T. The bolo tie is adopted as the official tie of New Mexico.
U. The Native American squash blossom necklace is adopted as the official necklace of New Mexico.
History: Laws 1927, ch. 102, § 1; C.S. 1929, § 129-101; 1941 Comp., § 3-1303; Laws 1949, ch. 142, § 1; 1953 Comp., § 4-14-3; Laws 1955, ch. 245, § 1; 1963, ch. 2, § 1; 1965, ch. 20, § 1; 1967, ch. 51, § 1; 1967, ch. 118, § 1; 1973, ch. 95, § 1; 1981, ch. 123, § 1; 1989, ch. 8, § 1; 1989, ch. 154, § 1; 1999, ch. 266, § 1; 1999, ch. 271, § 1; 2003, ch. 182, § 1; 2005, ch. 4, § 1; 2005, ch. 254, § 1; 2007, ch. 10, § 1; 2007, ch. 179, § 1; 2011, ch. 52, § 1.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Sandia Hairstreak Butterfly

Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Phylum: Arthropoda (Arthropods)
    Subphylum: Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Order: Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily: Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
    Family: Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
        Subfamily; Theclinae (Hairstreaks)
Tribe: Eumaeini
Genus; Callophrys
Species: mcfarlandi (Sandia Hairstreak)

State Insects,
Butterflies, and Bugs
State Insects,
State insects are selected by 45 states of the 50 United States. Some states have more than one designated insect, or have multiple categories (e.g., state insect and state butterfly, etc.).
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