New Jersey Butterflies

Coral Hairstreak

Satyrium titus

Identification: Very small—about the size of a thumbnail, but just a bit larger than most of NJ's other Satyrium hairstreaks. Like most hairstreaks, almost never seen with wings open. Below: Gray-brown with a row of bright orange spots near edge of HW. Only hairstreak in NJ that does not have tails.

NJ Status and Distribution: Resident. Uncommon but widespread. Data show that Coral Hairstreaks are still found in most counties but the general sense among active field observers is that the species is declining.

NJ Range Map-Coral Hairstreak

Habitat: Open areas, including openings in woodlands with the host plant.

Flight Period: One brood that flies from early June to early August. Extreme dates: North Jersey 6/8—8/13; South Jersey 6/3—7/14.

Larval Food Plants: Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), which is a common native tree of upland forest edges throughout NJ, and possibly other species in the genus.

Overwintering Stage: Egg.

Best Locations: Sunrise Mountain, Mountainside Park, Sandy Hook GNRA, Big Brook Park, Colliers Mills WMA, Riverwinds Scenic Trail.

Comments: Coral Hairstreaks absolutely love Butterfly Weed. The bright orange blossoms of this plant match the color of the hindwing spots of the butterfly. Also shows fondness for dogbane. If you have Black Cherry trees in your yard or neighborhood, and plant Butterfly Weed in your garden, you just might attract this lovely butterfly.

Coral Hairstreak

Colliers Mills WMA, Ocean Co., NJ, 6/10/12, on Indianhemp.