New Jersey Butterflies

Banded Hairstreak

Satyrium calanus

Identification: Very small—size of thumbnail. Almost never seen with wings open. Below: FW and HW dark to light gray with irregular white lines on both wings. The dark postmedian band on HW, usually bordered by white on the outside only, may have white on both sides. Cell-end bar is present. Hindwing has large blue spot on margin near tail that is flanked by smaller orange spots, but is not capped by orange. Similar hairstreaks: See discussion under Edwards' and Hickory hairstreaks.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Our most common and widespread Satyrium hairstreak. Reported from most counties.

NJ Range Map-Banded Hairstreak

Habitat: Edges of deciduous woodland with oaks and hickories. Can be attracted to gardens with flowers such as mints and milkweeds provided that the garden is within 100 feet or so of a woodland with oaks.

Flight Period: Single brood that flies from early June to mid-August. Extreme dates: North Jersey 6/6—8/19; South Jersey 6/3—7/25.

Larval Food Plants: Oaks (Quercus) and hickories (Carya).

Overwintering Stage: Egg.

Best Locations: Crater Lake Rd., Whittingham WMA, Lakehurst, Hesstown powerline cut.

Comments: Populations of Banded Hairstreaks—like all hairstreaks—fluctuate wildly. For several consecutive years dozens may be seen in one day, and then hardly any appear for the next several years.



Banded Hairstreak

Mountainside Pk., Morris Co., NJ, 6/8/10, on Indianhemp.


Banded Hairstreak

Nuts and leaves of Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis). This upland tree is host to Hickory and Banded hairstreaks larvae.