New Jersey Butterflies

Hickory Hairstreak

Satyrium caryaevorum

Identification: Very small—size of thumbnail. Almost never seen with wings open. Below: FW and HW grayish-brown with slightly darker postmedian bands and cell-end bars edged in white, usually on both sides. The FW band widens toward the outer edge. On HW a pale blue patch extends inward from tails farther than the neighboring orange-and-black spots. Similar hairstreaks: Banded Hairstreak is very similar, and it can be difficult to separate these 2 species with confidence. In Banded the postmedian bands and cell-end bars are usually edged with white on only one side, but occasionally on both. The FW band does not widen toward the outer edge. Best field mark may be the blue spot on margin of hindwing—in Banded this does not project inward beyond the neighboring spots.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Generally an uncommon to rare species that goes unreported some years. Recently confirmed only from Bergen, Monmouth, Morris, Mercer, Passaic, Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren, and Sussex counties.

NJ Range Map-Hickory Hairstreak

Habitat: Dry or moist fields near deciduous woodlands with hickories.

Flight Period: One brood that flies from mid-June to early August. Extreme dates: 6/17—8/2.

Larval Food Plants: Hickories (Carya).

Overwintering Stage: Egg.

Best Locations: Crater Lake Rd., Whittingham WMA, Appalachian Trail Lands, Troy Meadows.

Comments: Observations of this species—preferably with documenting photos—should be sent to the NABA-North Jersey Butterfly Club.



Hickory Hairstreak

Stillwater Twp., Sussex Co., NJ, 6/21/04, on Indianhemp.


Banded Hairstreak

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