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