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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Striped Hairstreak - Satyrium liparops

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5

Agency Status


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General Description
[From Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001] Forewing 1.4-1.5 cm. Two pairs of tails. Uppersurface brown, sometimes with orange patches. Undersurface with post-median rows of widely separated thin white lines edged in black forming a series of stripes, hindwing with blue tailspot capped by red-orange, outer edge of wing indented above second short tail.

One flight; mid-May to June in the south, July to early August in the north and at higher elevations (Scott 1986). Mid-June to early August (Glassberg 2001). Late June to early August in Colorado (Scott and Scott 1978; Scott and Epstein 1987), late June to late July in British Columbia (Guppy and Shepard 2001).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Best determined by presence of a pair of tails, overall brown base color, undersurface with post-median rows of thin white lines forming stripes, hindwing blue tailspot capped with orange.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Extreme east-central British Columbia (Peace River canyon) east across southern Canada to Nova Scotia and Maine, south to southern Colorado, northeastern new Mexico, northern Kansas, east Texas, and central Florida (Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001; Guppy and Shepard 2001); 1829 m to 2440 m elevation in the Rocky Mountain states (Ferris and Brown 1981), 1829 m to 2612 m elevation in Colorado (Brown 1957; Scott and Scott 1978). In Montana, reported from many counties east of the continental divide and the main Rocky Mountain chain (Kohler 1980; Stanford and Opler 1993; FLMNH Lepidopterists' Society database). Rare to locally uncommon in the western US (Glassberg 2001).


Brushy areas, thickets, prairies, streamsides, open deciduous woodlands, foothills, deciduous windbreaks (Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986; Opler and Wright 1999; Glassberg 2001). Habitat in Montana not described but probably similar.

Food Habits
Larval food plants include Amelanchier, Betula, Carpinus, Carya, Castanea, Crataegus, Fraxinus, Malus, Populus, Prunus (multiple species), Pyrus, Quercus, Rhododendron, Rubus, Salix, Sorbus, and Vaccinium (Scott and Scott 1978; Ferris and Brown 1981; Scott 1986, 1992). Adults feed on flower nectar (including Apocynum, Asclepias, Ceanothus, Cirsium, Clematus, Euphoria, Melilotus, Monarda, Solidago, Symphoricarpos) and honeydew (Scott 2014; Wagner and Gagliardi 2015).

Reproductive Characteristics
Females lay eggs singly on host plant buds and twigs (in small bark crevices). Eggs hibernate (overwinter). Larvae eat fruits, flowers, leaves, build no nests (Scott 1979, 1986; Scott and Epstein 1987); adults emerge from pupae in about 14 days (Guppy and Shepard 2001). Males perch on bushes, tree limbs about 1-2 m tall, sometimes on side of small tree, in gullies and hilltops (Scott 1975b, 1986).

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Citation for data on this website:
Striped Hairstreak — Satyrium liparops.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from