Hedgerow Hairstreak (Satyrium saepium [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Upperside metallic copper-brown. Forewing of male with black (sometimes pale) oval spot along leading edge. Underside brown with blue spot near tail; other markings not prominent.
Life history: Males perch on low vegetation. Females lay eggs singly on buds, leaves, and twigs of host plant. Eggs hatch the following spring; caterpillars eat buds and uppersides of leaves.
Flight: One flight from April-September.
Caterpillar hosts: Ceanothus species in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar including yerba santa and wild buckwheats.
Habitat: Chaparral, open forest, brushy oak woodlands.
Range: British Columbia south through California into Baja California; east through northern Arizona to northern New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana.
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. 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, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. Privately published, Denver, Colo.