Close-up photo of adult California Hairstreak butterfly

Eight Dollar Mountain Rd, Josephine Co, June 4

California

Hairstreak

Satyrium californica

Size: 1.0 - 1.25 inches wingspan

Key ID features:  Dark gray-brown above. Below, lighter gray-brown with median black spot band lightly edged with white. On HW below, black v-shaped or checkmark-shaped spot next to blue patch below tail. Inner edge of blue patch on hindwing often bordered by orange.  HW (and often FW) below has submarginal band of black lines or checks edged outwardly with orange. 

Similar species: Sylvan HS is generally more lightly marked, lacks the black V-shaped spot next to the blue HW patch (checkmark or dash instead), and orange halos only on two or three submarginal black crescents on HW.

 

Host plant: Primarily Purshia tridentata (Antelope bitterbrush) and Ceanothus velutinus (Snowbrush).

Habitat: Buckbrush scrub, oak woodlands, canyons. ​

Range: East slope of Cascades, most of SE and SW Oregon, Wallowa Mtns.

Season: Early May to early September

Abundance: Common

 

Conservation Status: Secure