The dusky brown and gray Banded Hairstreak typically rests with its wings closed up, showing off its lustrous white streaks, red-orange bands, and an iridescent blue spot.
Like many Hairstreaks, the Banded Hairstreak is a mix of brown and gray. They usually only display the tops of their wings when they are flying. When perched, the silvery lines along the underside of the wings is hard to miss. The Banded Hairstreak has a large, light blue spot at the bottom edge of its hindwing. This blue spot rarely has an orange cap on the inner edge, but it is possible to see one there. Above and below this blue spot are bands of red-orange bordered in black with a thin line of white as well. Two tails extend from the bottom edge of each hindwing; one is short and the other is really short. Adults visit flowers for nectar and can be found fluttering in fields and meadows. Males challenge other males in flight, but quickly return to their perch awaiting females to pass by.
The caterpillar for this species is green, chubby, and covered in short white bristles. It may have pink patches at both ends as well as on its back. It becomes more orange and brown as it matures and prepares to pupate. Oak and hickory leaves are food plants, so this species can be found feeding in a variety of places like parks and forest edges.
Scientific Name: Satyrium calanus
Butterfly or Moth
Size (Adult; Length): 25mm to 32mm (0.98in to 1.25in)
Colors: brown, gray, black, orange, blue, silver, white, red
Descriptors: orange, blue spots, silver streaks, white, flying
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Butterfly and Moth Anatomy
Antennae: Butterflies and Moths have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and proboscis.
Thorax: Home to the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Abdomen: Contains vital internal organs such as the heart(s) and reproduction facilities.
Forewing: The upper, forward wing pair used for flying.
Hindwing: The lower, rearward wing pair used for flying.
NOTE: Butterflies and Moths are part of the Lepidopteran order as they share many similarities.