North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Mountain Mahogany Hairstreak (Satyrium tetra)
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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

Mountain Mahogany Hairstreak (Satyrium tetra)
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