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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Hedgerow Hairstreak - Satyrium saepium


Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Pyle 2002] Forewing 1.3-1.5 cm. Tailed. Uppersurface shiny copper-brown. Undersurface tan to dark red-brown, hindwing with crooked dark postmedian line sometimes edged with white, blue tail spot with little or no orange, often with pale cell-end bars.

Phenology
One flight; mid-July to August in Colorado, late may to early September in Washington to northern California, late May to July in southern California, late April to June on Channel Islands (Scott 1986). Early April to mid-September depending on location in range, mainly July and August in Rocky Mountains (Glassberg 2001). Mid-May to mid-September in Oregon and Washington (Pyle 2002), late June through September in Oregon (Warren 2005), early June to late August in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by the uppersurface shiny copper-brown, hindwing undersurface with crooked dark postmedian line sometimes edged with white, blue tail spot with little or no orange, often with pale cell-end bars.

Species Range
Montana Range

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Range Comments
Southern British Columbia south though California to northern Baja, south through Idaho and western Montana to northern Arizona and New Mexico (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001); between 1829 m and 2743 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Ferris and Brown 1981), 122 m to 2134 m elevation in Oregon (Warren 2005). In Montana, reported from most counties in the montane western 1/3 of the state (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993). Locally common to abundant, except uncommon in Washington and British Columbia (Glassberg 2001).

Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Foothill and montane shrubland, sagebrush steppe, pine woodland, oak woodland, chaparral (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001). In Glacier National Park, Montana reported from montane woodland and above treeline in alpine terrain (Debinski 1993), the latter habitat questionable.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include at least seven species of Ceanothus (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Achillea, Aesculus, Anaphalis, Antennaria, Apocynum, Asclepias, Baccharis, Berteroa, Ceanothus, Cirsium, Clematis, Erigeron, Eriodyctyon, Eriogonum, Heterotheca, Monarda, Potentilla, Rhus, Rudbeckia, Solidago, Symphyotrichum) and mud (Pyle 2002; Scott 2014).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on host plant twigs, stems, leaves, buds (Scott 1986, 1992, 2006). Eggs overwinter, hatch 3-4 days after exiting diapause, develop rapidly from L1 instar to L4 instar and pupation in about 19 days, adults eclose (emerge from pua) in 17 days, about 36 days after egg-hatch. Larvae feed on flower buds and underside of host leaves, build no nest, are attended by ants (particularly by Formica pilicornis in California), probably pupate in litter under host plant (Scott 1979, 1986: James and Nunnallee 2011). Males perch throughout the day about 1 m above ground in shrubs on ridgecrests and hilltops while waiting for passing females (Scott 1975b, 1986).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Hedgerow Hairstreak — Satyrium saepium.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from