Edwards’ hairstreak

(Satyrium edwardsii)

Conservation Status
Edwards’ hairstreak
Photo by Scott Leddy
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N4 - Apparently Secure

S5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Edwards’ hairstreak is a small to medium-sized, gossamer-winged butterfly. It occurs in the United States east of the Great Plains and in adjacent Canadian provinces. It is found from late June to early August in open oak woodlands and woodland edges, and in oak savannas. It is locally common and sometimes abundant in Minnesota.

Adults have a ¾ to 1½ (19 to 38 mm) wingspan. The upperside of both wings is dark brown. The hindwing has two hair-like tails near the tip, one long and one short. There is sometimes an orange spot above the tails. However, this butterfly perches with wings closed and is rarely seen from above.

The underside of both wings is brownish-gray with a thin black margin on the trailing edge. On the forewing there is a row of narrow submarginal spots and a row of larger postmedial spots. The submarginal spots are outlined with white just on the inside. The postmedial spots are rectangular and distinctly separated. They are outlined in white, boldly on the outside, narrowly on the inside. There is also a well-defined, longer, horizontal, medial stripe outlined in white. The hindwing is similarly marked but the submarginal spots are distinctly crescent-shaped. There is a large, light blue spot below the tail and a long, narrow, orange spot on the inner margin at the anal angle. The blue spot is not topped with orange. The marginal spot immediately above the tail has a prominent orange cap. The next three spots have smaller orange caps gradually decreasing in size and fading.

The eyes are black.

The antennae are striped black-and-white and have an orange-tipped club.

The caterpillar is wide, somewhat flattened, dirty brown, and short, no more than 1 long. The breathing pores (spiracles) are pale but not prominent. On each side there is a stripe near the middle (subdorsal stripe) and a less prominent stripe below the spiracles (subspiracular stripe). The area between the subdorsal stripes is darker brown. On each abdominal segment there is a single, blurry, oblique line between the subdorsal and subspiracular stripes.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: ¾ to 1½ (19 to 38 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Open oak woodlands and woodland edges; oak savannas

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year: Late June to early August

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The adult feeds at night. It perches with closed wings usually about three feet off the ground or high in trees. It is rarely seen with spread wings.

The caterpillar feeds during the day. At night it hides in an ant nest at the base of a tree.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

Leaves of pin oak, red oak, black oak, bur oak, and white oak.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Flower nectar

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75, 83.

 
  3/26/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Locally common to abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Suborder

Glossata  
 

Infraorder

Neolepidoptera  
  Parvorder Heteroneura  
  No Rank Ditrysia  
  No Rank Obtectomera  
 

Superfamily

Papilionoidea (butterflies [excluding skippers])  
 

Family

Lycaenidae (gossamer-wings)  
 

Subfamily

Theclinae (hairstreak butterflies)  
 

Tribe

Eumaeini  
  Subtribe Eumaeina  
 

Genus

Satyrium  
  Subgenus Satyrium  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Edwards’ hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii edwardsii)

Edwards’ hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii meridionale)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Edwards’ hairstreak

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Anal angle

The angle at the corner formed where the outer and inner margins meet.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Scott Leddy
       

Edwards’ hairstreak on New Jersey tea

  Edwards’ hairstreak    
       
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Other Videos
 
  Edwards' Hairstreak Male
Steve Willson
 
   
 
About

Jun 28, 2015

This male Edwards' Hairstreak butterfly is guarding a breeding territory that it defends against other males. As a rival male approaches, the male takes off to give chase.

   
       
  Edward's Hairstreak nectaring at scrub oak gall
Benedict Gagliardi
 
   
 
About

Jan 22, 2014

June 25, 2013: An Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsii) "nectaring" at a gall on a scrub oak bud. Sugars secreted by this bud may be the result of a cynipid wasp infection.

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
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Scott Leddy
3/24/2020

Fillmore County

Edwards’ hairstreak


     
     
 
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Created: 3/26/2020

Last Updated:

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