Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus [Fabricius])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: No tails. Upperside dark brown. Underside of hindwing light brown with row of coral spots at margin, and postmedian row of black spots ringed with white.
Life history: Males perch on shrubs, especially in late afternoon, to watch for females. Females lay eggs singly on host twigs or in litter at base of plant. Eggs hibernate. Caterpillars hide in litter during the day and emerge at night to feed on leaves and fruits.
Flight: One flight from May-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Wild cherry, wild plum, and chokecherry (Prunus species) in the rose family (Rosaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from flowers including butterflyweed, New Jersey tea, dogbane, and sulphur flower.
Habitat: Shrubby areas, brushlands, openings in woodlands, neglected pastures, streamsides, barrens, chaparral, and brushlands.
Range: Central Canada south to eastern California; east across southern Canada to New England; south to central New Mexico, central Texas, northern Arkansas, and central Georgia.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
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. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 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.