Banded Hairstreak Butterfly

Banded Hairstreak Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Meeting hairstreaks is always a pleasure, and rarely can be anticipated. On July 7th we had this chance encounter at Raccoon Creek State Park.

Satyrium calanus was resting on a shrub leaf at the edge of a mixed, deciduous forest. Most of its time is spent feeding high up near the treetops.

We don’t remember seeing them nectaring , although it is reported that they do so on milkweed and dogbane.

But again its fun to locate a hairstreak, because if your mind was somewhere else while you were walking that trail, your brain immediately goes into overdrive! Am I looking at (remember…they are very small) a Striped, a Hickory, a Banded, a Gray, an Oak, an Acadian…?

Found from Florida north to Canada, but not widely found, they contribute to making butterfly identification the challenge that it is.