banded hairstreak

(Satyrium calanus)

Conservation Status
banded hairstreak
Photo by Mike Poeppe
  IUCN Red List

not listed


N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure


not listed


Banded hairstreak is a small to medium-sized butterfly with a wingspan of to 1. It perches with wings closed and is rarely seen from above.

The underside of both wings is grayish-brown or brownish-gray with darker brown spots. On the forewing there is a row of narrow submarginal spots, a row of larger postmedial spots, and a pair of medial spots. The submarginal spots are outlined with white on the inside only and fade out as they approach the wing tip. The postmedial spots are rectangular and more or less connected. They are outlined with white usually on the outside only, rarely also lightly outlined on the inside as well. The hindwing is similarly marked with crescent-shaped submarginal spots, a more jagged line of postmedial spots, and two pair of medial spots. There are also a few to several submarginal orange spots and a blue spot at the outer angle that is not capped with orange. There are two tails near the tip, one long and one short.

The eyes are black.

The antennae are black-and-white striped with a orange-tipped club.

The caterpillar is wide, somewhat flattened, and short, no more than 1 long. It is highly variable in appearance. It is green with a number of pale stripes at first, turning brown just before pupating. There are usually a pair of subdorsal stripes over the thorax that may continue over the abdomen. Between the subdorsal stripes there is often a dark patch or darker pigment on the second thoracic segment and on abdominal segments 1 and 6 through 10. Each abdominal segment has a subspiracular stripe and a pair of oblique stripes between the subdorsal and subspiracular stripes.

Mature caterpillars are found in late spring before the foliage is mature.




Wingspan: to 1


Similar Species


Woodland edges, open areas adjacent to oak woodlands, parks, and yards




One generation: Late June to early August






Life Cycle


During the summer the female lays eggs singly on twigs of host species. The eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.


Larva Hosts


Catkins and young leaves of mostly oak (Quercus spp.), but also walnut (Juglans spp.), and hickory (Carya spp.)


Adult Food


Nectar of flowers, especially milkweed and dogbane, but also sumac, sweet clover, yarrow, meadowsweet, and New Jersey tea.


Distribution Map



7, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 72, 75, 82.




Widespread but uncommon. Population fluctuates. Sometimes locally common but few in number.

There are eight hairstreak butterfly species found in Minnesota. All of them are uncommon or rare in the state. Banded hairstreak is the most common of these.



Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  


Papilionoidea (butterflies)  


Lycaenidae (gossamer-winged butterflies)  


Theclinae (hairstreaks)  


  Subtribe Eumaeina  


Satyrium (satyrid hairstreaks)  

Subordinate Taxa


eastern banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus falacer)

Florida banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus calanus)

Godart’s hairstreak (Satyrium calanus godarti)

pale banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus albidus)


Satyrium calanus falacer was formerly considered a separate species, Satyrium falacer.




Satyrium falacer


Common Names


banded hairstreak














Visitor Photos

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Paulette G

    banded hairstreak      

Mike Poeppe

    banded hairstreak   banded hairstreak  
    banded hairstreak      

Margot Avey

    banded hairstreak   banded hairstreak  

John Shier

  It was apparent to me that this is one I don't commonly see... At least we have a bright background -- butterfly weed.   banded hairstreak  
    banded hairstreak   banded hairstreak  






Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Banded Hairstreak Butterfly (Lycaenidae: Satyrium calanus) on Ground
Carl Barrentine

Published on Jul 9, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 July 2011).

  Banded Hairstreak Nectaring Butterflyweed 2 - July 9, 2014
Don Gagnon

Published on Jul 10, 2014

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), nectaring Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa​), Part 2, Butterfly Garden, Gagnon Wildlife Habitat, Wednesday afternoon, July 9, 2014, 1:45 PM - Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 00181 / 00182; 50 sec.

  Banded Hairstreak and Ants

Published on Apr 20, 2011

This banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) larva looks to be tended by ants. Note that there are two discolorations on the larva, one is an ant and the other may be a scar from a parasitoid.

  Banded Hairstreak
Paul Sweet

Published on Dec 2, 2010

Tips for identifying one of N. Illinois' most common butterflies.




Visitor Sightings

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Be sure to include a location.
  Paulette G

Location: Ramsey, MN yard

banded hairstreak  
  Mike Poeppe

Location: Houston County, MN

banded hairstreak  
  Margot Avey

Location: St. Louis Park, MN

banded hairstreak  
  John Shier

Location: At Whitetail Ridge regional park in Dakota County

It was apparent to me that this is one I don't commonly see... At least we have a bright background -- butterfly weed.

banded hairstreak  




Created: 7/2/2018

Last Updated:

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