Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

California Hairstreak
Satyrium californica (W.H. Edwards, 1862)


Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Identification: Each hindwing has 1 long and 1 short tail. Upperside brown with orange spot on hindwing near tails. Outer edge of forewing usually has row of orange spots. Underside brown-gray with orange submarginal crescents and a postmedian band of black spots.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
Life History: Males search for females by perching on top of trees (occasionally patrolling). Females lay eggs, glued together in groups of 2-4, in bark crevices. Eggs hibernate until the following spring. Caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: One flight from May-August.
Caterpillar Hosts: Amelanchier alnifolia, Prunus virginiana; Cercocarpus, Ceanothus, Quercus, and Salix species.
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers of wild buckwheat, milkweed, sulphur flower, and others.
Habitat: Chaparral, brushland, forest edges, open woodland.
Range: British Columbia south to southern California and east to Colorado.
Conservation: Valley oak-associated population in California\'s central valley is threatened by loss of habitat.
NCGR: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: Conserve remaining stands of Valley oak in California Central Valley.
Comments: NULL
Alternate Scientific Names:
Satyrium californicum

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022!

Moths are amazing creatures. Take photographs and share your moth sightings with us to document the moths where you live. Learn more.