Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Mountain Mahogany Hairstreak
Satyrium tetra (W.H. Edwards, 1870)

Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
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.
Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/4 inches (2.5 - 3.2 cm).
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.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL