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

Pollinator Week was June 20-26, 2022!

Butterflies and moths are accidental pollinators of many flowering plants. While most species do not have special structures to carry pollen, they do brush against pollen and transfer it to other flowers.

Did you know? The Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas) flies close to the ground and uses its short proboscis to probe flowers of wild strawberry, white sweet clover, and other low-lying plants.