Southern Hairstreak (Fixsenia favonius [J.E. Smith])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 1/2 inches (2.2 - 3.8 cm).
Identification: Two tails on each hindwing. Underside of hindwing gray-brown; blue tail-spot capped narrowly with orange; white-edged black W near inner margin. In peninsular Florida and along the south Atlantic coast, the hindwing has longer tails and more extensive orange and blue markings on the underside.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on host plant twigs and hatch the following spring. Caterpillars feed on leaves, buds, and male catkins
Flight: One flight from March-June.
Caterpillar hosts: Various oaks (Quercus species).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Oak woodlands and edges, oak hammocks in the Deep South.
Range: Southern New England and the Atlantic Coast south to peninsular Florida; west to central Illinois, southeastern Colorado, and the Gulf Coast.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1981. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 442 pages. Layberry, R.A., P.W. Hall, and J.D. Lafontaine. 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto. 282 pages, 32 color plates. Neck, R.W. 1996. A field guide to butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas. 323 pp. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates. 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. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.
Author: Paul A. Opler
State and Regional References:
Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.