Gorgeous Coral Spots on this Hairstreak Butterfly

Coral Hairstreak Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

June 27th and the 2nd day in a row that I’d seen Coral Hairstreak butterflies. Ah those coral spots! This one is nectaring on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) and will tolerate my close approach. Coral Hairstreaks are only found when the plants in the Milkweed family are in bloom; that would be Common, Orange and Swamp.My experience from over more than a decade is that they visit these flowers at mid-morning and disappear by late morning. If they reappear later in the day, I’d be surprised.

Satyrium titus differs from other Hairstreaks in many ways: It’s without a tail; is not found standing motionless on the shrub leaves; and lacks a blueish spot on its hindwings. Corals appear for not more than 3 weeks at a time. When you meet one, at first your eyes shoot right to those gorgeous coral spots and then, you value the sighting because you know that you may not see one again for a year. Some years they can’t be found at all! So a chance encounter with a Coral may be the last one that you see for 2 or 3 or more years.