Banded Hairstreak Butterfly at the Edge of a Deciduous Forest

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.

I don’t remember seeing them nectaring , although it is reported that they do so on milkweed and dogbane. It’s fun to locate a hairstreak! 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, or an Acadian?

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