North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Delaware

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)
JPG -- species photo

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus [Hübner])

Wing span: 1 - 1 1/2 inches (2.5 - 3.8 cm).

Identification: Hindwing has 1 long and 1 short tail. Upperside of both sexes dark brown. Underside of hindwing dark brown with postmedian band of dark dashes edged in white. Blue tail-spot not topped with orange.

Life history: Males perch on low shrubs and tree branches during the day, watching for females. Eggs are laid on twigs of the host during the summer, and hatch the following spring. Caterpillars eat catkins and leaves.

Flight: One flight from June-August in the north, April-May in Florida.

Caterpillar hosts: Many species of oak (Quercus), walnut (Juglans), and hickory (Carya).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers including dogbane and common milkweed (preferred), chinquapin, small-flowered dogwood, New Jersey tea, meadowsweet, staghorn sumac, white sweet clover, and yarrow.

Habitat: Forest areas and neighboring open edges and fields.

Range: Maine across southern Canada to North Dakota; south to central Texas and the Gulf States. Southern Rocky Mountains in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico.

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.


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.

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:

Glassberg,  J.  1993.  Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to 
     Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region.  Oxford Univ. Press, 
     New York, N.Y.  160 pp.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.     

Shapiro, A.M. 1966.  Butterflies of the Delaware Valley.  American Entomological
     Society Special Publication.  Philadelphia, PA.  79 pp. 

Woodbury, E.N.  1994.  Butterflies of Delmarva.  Delaware Nature Society, Inc.,
     Tidewater Publishers, Centreville, MD.  138 pp.  [NOTE: this book only 
     treats True Butterflies (Papilionoidea).  It does not treat Skippers
Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)
distribution map
map legend

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