Gold-hunter's Hairstreak (Satyrium auretorum [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Hindwing with 1 short tail. Upperside of male light reddish-brown; female with yellowish tinge. Underside of hindwing with dark crescents near outer margin. Spot near tail is dull orange with a black center.
Life history: Males perch on top of trees and sometimes patrol for females. Eggs are laid singly on stems and hibernate until spring. Caterpillars feed on tender young leaves.
Flight: One flight from May-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Several species of oak (Quercus).
Adult food: Flower nectar including milkweeds.
Habitat: Oak hillsides and chaparral.
Range: California west of the Sierra Nevada, Transverse Range, and deserts, from Mendocino County south to San Diego County and into Baja California Norte.
Conservation: The Santa Monica Mountains Hairstreak (subspecies fumosum) is highly localized and threatened by urbanization in southern California.
Management needs: Protect habitat of remaining colonies of subspecies fumosum.
Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The butterflies of southern California. Science Series 26. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, California. 148 pages, 10 color plates. New, T. R., editor. 1993. Conservation biology of Lycaenidae (Butterflies). Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission No. 8. IUCN, The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland. 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:
Brown, J.W., Real, H.G., and D.K. Faulkner. 1992. Butterflies of Baja California. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Beverly Hills, Calif. Comstock, J.A. 1927. Butterflies of California. Privately published, Los Angeles, Calif. [Facsimile available from Entomological Reprint Specialists, Los Angeles, Calif.] Dameron, W. 1997. Searching for butterflies in southern California. Flutterby Press, Los Angeles, Calif. Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida. Emmel, T. C. and J. F. Emmel. 1973. The Butterflies of Southern California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Science Series No. 26. Garth, J.S. and J.W. Tilden. 1986. California Butterflies. California Natural History Guide 51. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. Langston, R.L. 1981. The Rhopalocera of Santa Cruz Island, California. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 18: 24-35. Miller, Scott E. 1985. Butterflies of the Califorenia Channel Islands. Journal of the Research on the Lepidoptera 23: 282-296. Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Orsak, L.J. 1977. The Butterflies of Orange County, California. Museum of Systematic Biology, University of california, Irvine. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo. Steiner, J. 1990. Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera. Hayward, Calif.: Hayward State University, Masters Thesis. Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Tilden, J.W. 1965. Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay Region. California Natural History Guide 12. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles.