The Harvester is a small tan butterfly with dark wing borders and blotches on its upper surface. The underside has a ground color of reddish-orange (sometimes with a purplish sheen) with distinctive dark orange/brown circles rimmed with white rings.


Harvester butterfly” by Kara Jones, licensed by (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Harvester Facts

Butterfly Family: Gossamer-Winged (Lycaenidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Miletinae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 1/8 – 1 1/4 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Deciduous or mixed woodlands along streams


Harvester Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Harvester caterpillars eat woolly aphids. Aphids can be found on leaves of:
    • Alder
    • Beech
    • Witch Hazel
    • Hawthorn
    • Maple
    • Greenbrier

Nectar Plants:

  • Adult Harvesters are not typically found in gardens, and they do not sip flower nectar. They sip sugary secretions of aphids, mud, and sap for nourishment.