King's Hairstreak (Satyrium kingi [Klots & Clench])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (3 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: Hindwing with 1 long and 1 short tail. Underside light brown; hindwing margin indented above second tail; tail-spot blue with an orange cap.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on host twigs and hatch the next spring. Caterpillars feed on leaf buds and leaves.
Flight: One flight from May-June.
Caterpillar hosts: Common sweetleaf (Symplocos tinctoria), the only North American native of the sweetleaf family (Symplocaceae).
Adult food: Allegheny chinquapin and sourwood are the only reported nectar sources.
Habitat: Hardwood hammocks, wooded streams, swamp edges.
Range: Maryland south along the Atlantic coastal plain and Gulf states, west to eastern Texas.
Conservation: Listed as a species of special concern in several states. Populations and their habitats should be conserved where found.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management needs: None reported.
Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.