Mountain-Mahogany Hairstreak (Satyrium tetra [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: One short hindwing tail on males, long tail on female hindwing; may be missing. Upperside brown-gray. Underside is olive-gray with ashy overlay. Postmedian line white; sometimes faint or absent. Spot near tail is gray-blue.
Life history: Males perch on hilltop shrubs or valley host plants to watch for females. Eggs are laid on twigs or leaves, singly or in small groups. Eggs hibernate until spring; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-July.
Caterpillar hosts: Mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus) in the rose family (Rosaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from wild buckwheat and others.
Habitat: Mixed woodlands, chaparral.
Range: Southern Oregon and California west of the deserts through San Diego County into Baja California Norte; in the Carson Range of western Nevada.
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.
Brown, J. W., Real, H. G., and Faulkner, D. K. Butterflies of Baja California. 1992. Lepidoptera Research Foundation, Inc., Beverly Hills, CA. 129 pages, 8 color plates. 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. 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.